On November 29, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on one of the most important environmental cases in decades, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The justices reviewed a federal appeals court ruling in favor of the Bush Administration’s refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Massachusetts, 11 other states, cities and environmental groups say that the agency should regulate such emissions, which are widely seen as a major cause of global warming. The Administration, another nine states, industrial interests, and others respond that the EPA has no legal power or duty to regulate such emissions, and a requirement could impose vast economic burdens with negligible impact on the global warming problem.
On December 4, the Brookings Institution continued its Judicial Issues Forum series with Stuart Taylor, Brookings nonresident senior fellow, who moderated a discussion on the case and the larger issues around global warming. He was joined by Gregg Easterbrook, Brookings visiting fellow; David Sandalow, Brookings Environment Scholar; David Doniger, policy director of Natural Resources Defense Council Climate Center; Robert Reynolds, partner, Alston & Bird LLP; and Mark Moller, constitutional studies senior fellow at the Cato Institute.