To what extent can the EPA force utilities to update aging fleets with expensive pollution-control technology?
John D. Wilson is chair of the Energy and Telecommunications Group and co-chair of the Government and Public Practice Group at the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Madison, Wis. Contact him at 608-283-4433 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Brian H. Potts is an environmental and energy law associate in the Madison office of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Contact him at 608-257-7470 or email@example.com.
Utility executives take notice: The U.S. Supreme Court will issue a contentious and potentially far-reaching Clean Air Act (CAA) decision soon in Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp., a case involving the nation’s third-largest energy company. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in early November and likely will issue an opinion before June 2007. Although the press has been focused on the other environmental case pending before the court, which deals with ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases, the upside of the Duke Energy case for the electric industry could be much more significant—particularly for utilities with aging coal-fired fleets.