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New England Legal Foundation Files Amicus Brief in US Supreme Court to Urge Government Accountable to the People

EPA CANNOT SEIZE POWER THAT CONGRESS FAILED TO GRANT

New England Legal Foundation Files Amicus Brief in US Supreme Court to Urge Government Accountable to the People

BOSTON – The New England Legal Foundation this week filed an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to prevent the EPA from seizing regulatory power that Congress has not authorized under the Clean Air Act. At issue in the case is whether the unelected agency is limited to regulatory power granted by Congress or subject to the grant of authority by the people’s elected representatives in Congress. The EPA says it can establish broad economic “systems” at the electric grid level, such as cap-and-trade requirements, rather than the technological systems that operate at the actual source of emissions.   

Until 2015, the EPA agreed that its regulatory power was limited to technology at the source of emissions. Then, after failing to win congressional approval of broader regulatory power, the federal agency simply acted in place of Congress and claimed that authority for itself.  In its brief supporting the petitioners, NELF analyzes the statute in question in its full context and shows that Congress intended only technological systems to be used. NELF offers numerous examples of wording, both in statutes and in regulations, indicating that any “systems” adopted, as well as resulting emission standards, are to be applied to the individual emission sources, and not to the grid at large.  

“In these four cases of agency overreach the Supreme Court is asked to distinguish between the way the nation’s electrical grid works and the way the United States government works, a distinction both EPA and the lower court blurred,” said John Pagliaro, Staff Attorney at NELF and author of the brief.

About the New England Legal Foundation: For nearly 50 years, the New England Legal Foundation has filed amicus briefs and impact litigation in support of free enterprise, property rights, good and limited government, and inclusive economic growth. NELF Website

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