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Supreme Court RoundUP: Pivotal Cases for the Clean Air Act

How greenhouse gases and Best Available Control Technology could shape the regulatory landscape—and the environment.

Fortnightly Magazine - December 2006

. . emissions that ‘cause, or contribute to’ air pollution that passes the endangerment threshold.” Id. at 39. This language, petitioners claim, demonstrates that the CAA “endorses incremental responses to air pollution problems.” Id. With respect to EPA’s foreign policy argument, petitioners claim that in enacting Section 202(a)(1), Congress was “clearly aware that emissions from mobile sources might not be the sole cause of an air pollution problem, yet it directed EPA to regulate even when they ‘contribute to’ such a problem.” Id. at 40. 

74. Petitioners acknowledge that EPA’s third concern—that technologies might not be available to control GHGs—was a relevant consideration. However, petitioners argue, even this concern is unavailing because EPA “failed to relate its discussion of scientific uncertainty to the statutory standard of endangerment.” Id. at 41. 

75. Id. at 44.

76. Id. at 45.

77.  Brief for the Respondents at 36, Massachusetts v. EPA , No. 05-1120 (Oct. 24, 2006).

78. Id. at 8.

79. Id. at 36-38.

80. Id. at 39.

81. Id. at 8.

82. Id. at 8.

83. Id. at 20.

84. Id.

85. Id. at 33-34. 

86. Brief for the Respondents at 23, Massachusetts v. EPA , No. 05-1120 (Oct. 24, 2006).

87. Id. at 24.

88. Id.

89. Id. at 24-25.

90. Id. at 8.

91. Id. at 32.

92. Id.

93. See generally Zachary Tyler, Massachusetts v. EPA: The D.C. Circuit’s Failure to Extend the Clean Air Act to Greenhouse Gas Emissions , 36 Envtl. L. Rep.
(Envtl. Law Inst.) 10,456, 10,465 (2006).

94. Brief for the Respondents at 13, Massachusetts v. EPA , No. 05-1120 (Oct. 24, 2006).

95. Id. at 13.

96. Id. at 15.

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