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UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court Takes Certification On EPA Regulations

10/18/2013 | Construction Blog

On October 13th, we reported that new Environmental Protection Agency regulations regarding carbon emissions might have an impact on Pennsylvania’s construction economy. At the time, we reported that those regulations, which are based on a finding by the EPA that carbon emissions are harmful “greenhouse gases”, were subject to a legal challenge. That legal challenge has now been taken up by a number of groups interested in the issue.

Approximately 70 business organizations and 13 states have asked the United States Supreme Court to strike down the regulations based on their contention that the EPA does not have the authority to put them in place. They argue, instead, that this crosses the line into powers reserved exclusively for Congress. Practically, they maintain that the new regulations could cost billions of dollars and hurt a fragile economy.

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up a solitary question: whether the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases for motor vehicles allows it to also impose rules for “stationary sources” like power plants. This case will take some time to decide, but the timing could result in a decision close to the governor’s election next year in Pennsylvania. It will most certainly impact Pennsylvania’s energy and construction sectors regardless of the timing.