Congressional research shop releases litigation summary

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, May 9, 2016

Congress’ in-house research shop has drafted a summary of the complicated legal battle over the Obama administration’s climate regulations.

The Congressional Research Service late last month released a backgrounder in the case, West Virginia v. U.S. EPA, where nearly 160 parties are challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

That rule has been “one of the more singularly controversial environmental regulations ever promulgated by EPA, and the controversy surrounding the Rule is reflected in the enormous multi-party litigation over the Rule ongoing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,” according to CRS.

The report recaps the major events in the litigation, summarizes the principal legal arguments and lays out a likely timetable of upcoming events. It also includes details on state planning, referencing information from E&E’s Power Plan Hub.

The rule is currently on hold after the Supreme Court earlier this year agreed to freeze the regulation. The D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments early next month.

Current and former members of Congress are weighing in on both sides of the issue. Opponents include 34 current senators and 171 members of the House. Supporting the rule in court, meanwhile, are 44 current and former senators and 164 current and former House members.

The Federation of American Scientists’ transparency advocate Steven Aftergood posted the backgrounder online. CRS generally doesn’t publicly release its documents to Congress.

Click here to read the CRS report.