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Vitter: SCOTUS Cedes Authority to Bureaucrats on Clean Air Act Interpretation
Vitter concerned deference provided by federal courts continues to exacerbate Agency’s ability to ignore federal law and their own guidelines
April 29, 2014

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). CSAPR requires 28 upwind States to further reduce emissions that may contribute to nonattainment for downwind States, as part of the "Good Neighbor" provision in the Clean Air Act (CAA).

"This is a devastating ruling from our nation's highest court that sets the precedent for federal bureaucrats to take great liberties in interpreting and implementing the Clean Air Act. This allows them to completely ignore the concept of cooperative federalism that requires them to work with States in crafting plans to address air pollution," said Vitter. "Obama's EPA is already averaging 10 new regulations a day. I worry for the future of our States, EPA's role in responsibly implementing the Clean Air Act, and the destructive impact this could have on our economy."

Today, the Supreme Court found the EPA may impose its own plan at any time within two years of finding a State's plan to control air pollution does not meet the Agency's satisfaction. Moreover, the EPA is not required to allow states the opportunity to make alterations before imposing a federal plan. While the Supreme Court noted potential real-world problems, they concluded that EPA is not required to provide information to States to revise their plans, prior to EPA issuing a federal plan that displaces the state plan. Today's decision may affect EPA's commitment to a cooperative approach with the States in the upcoming June 1st greenhouse gas existing source rule.

In October 2013, EPW Republicans released a report on cooperative federalism, entitled, "Neglecting a Cornerstone Principle of the Clean Air Act: President Obama's EPA Leaves States Behind." The report chronicles the Administration's growing failure to adhere to the cooperative federalism approach in working with States as established in the Clean Air Act.

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April 2014 Press Releases

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