Upton and Whitfield Respond to SCOTUS Decision on Greenhouse Gases

June 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling related to EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases.

Upton and Whitfield said, “The court recognized the EPA does not, in fact, have unlimited authority, despite the agency’s best effort to control every sector of the U.S. economy. This decision should serve as a reality check for this administration that agencies cannot just change the law as they see fit. The agency invented the illegal tailoring rule to justify an expansive regulatory agenda it knows is unworkable. As the administration seeks to regulate where they failed to legislate, agencies cannot rewrite statutes to meet bureaucratic policy goals and subvert the will of Congress. EPA’s burdensome greenhouse gas regulations will threaten thousands of jobs and undermine our manufacturing renaissance.”

EPA had asserted that the agency had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under two Clean Air Act permitting programs for over 6 million stationary sources nationwide. In the court’s opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “EPA’s interpretation is also unreasonable because it would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization. When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate ‘a significant portion of the American economy,’ Brown & Williamson, 529 U. S., at 159, we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism. We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance.’”

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