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Supreme Court Global Warming Case: What Legislative History Reveals about Congressional Intent

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#mlewis">Marlo Lewis</a> -- December 19, 2013

“The EPA acknowledges that the Timing Rule produces ‘absurd results’ that contravene congressional intent…. The Timing Rule clearly exceeds any discernible congressional intent and should be overturned.”

An amicus brief filed this week to the Supreme Court on behalf of five U.S. Senators argues that “Congress never intended for EPA to have authority to impose” Clean Air Act permitting requirements on stationary sources of greenhouse gases.

The brief, written pro bono by Theodore L. Garrett and Thomas R. Brugato of Covington & Burling LLP, bases its conclusion on my review of nearly 700 proposed bills on greenhouse gases that were introduced between 1989 and 2010.

Background on the Case

The Court in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is reviewing one question: “Whether EPA permissibly determined that greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.”…