Forum Posts

Meg Sheline
Apr 01, 2022
In General Discussions
The fight over climate regulations continues in the United States as the Supreme Court case West Virginia v. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held its oral hearing late last month. The case covered the extent of the EPA’s authority to limit carbon emissions from power plants. Brief history lesson on this case. In 2015, the Obama administration gave the EPA broad power to regulate emissions across the grid in their Clean Power Plan. Before it took effect, it was put on hold by the Supreme Court then repealed in 2016 by the Trump administration. It was replaced with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE), narrowing the power of the EPA. In 2021, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated ACE and reopened discussions for the Clean Power Plan; however, the Biden administration filed to drop the plan. Despite this request, the Supreme Court ruled to review the plan anyways. The main argument set forth by West Virginia (also representing coal and mining corporations) is that the EPA does not have broad authority to regulate emissions from power plants. They state that the power should not be in the hands of a federal agency, but instead in those of Congress. The case has been hotly debated because the regulations in question are not actually in effect. Because of this, the EPA argued that there is no legal basis for this case, and thus it should be dismissed. The outcomes have the potential to severely hinder the EPA’s ability to reduce carbon emissions in the future. It could potentially go as far as preventing Congress from ever delegating powers over emissions reductions to the EPA and even calling into question their other regulatory powers over the environment. The ramifications also extend beyond the EPA and to the integrity of environmental law in the United States. For a more detailed analysis, listen to the recent podcast by Clean Law: https://eelp.law.harvard.edu/2022/03/cleanlaw-jody-freeman-richard-lazarus-west-virginia-v-epa/
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Meg Sheline
Mar 03, 2022
In Member Introductions
I'm the (self-proclaimed) resident environmental policy, law, and politics enthusiast. Chances are if you see a post on CoSphere relating to any of these topics, I was likely involved! On a sunny day you may see me running through Pacific Spirit Park or wandering around downtown Vancouver trying to get my vitamin-D. This fall though, you’ll catch me in Washington D.C. pursuing a master’s degree in policy and administration. Need any political podcast recommendations or just itching for a good debate about the news? I am always eager to chat about the stressful politics and news that many avoid! You can reach out to me on CoSphere, or connect with me on LinkedIn.
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Meg Sheline
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