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Supreme Court Votes to Curb Excessive EPA Overreach

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that an Environmental Protection Agency regulation limiting emission levels at coal-fired power plants failed to meet Clean Air Act requirements for being “appropriate and necessary.” The EPA rule, which deals primarily with mercury emissions, is just one in a series of excessive regulatory acts implemented or proposed under the current administration that would reduce domestic competitiveness and drive up costs for U.S. businesses. Groups representing a variety of industries were joined by more than 20 states in successfully challenging the EPA’s regulatory overreach on this issue.

While the current mercury emission limits will temporarily remain in effect, the court’s ruling means that the EPA will have to consider costs of implementation when developing a replacement rule. And with this burdensome regulation projected to impose annual costs of $9.6 billion for a mere $6 million in benefits, the decision represents a significant victory for U.S. businesses. The EPA’s limits on mercury emissions – much like the agency’s recently-proposed restrictions on ground-level ozone that we have urged the President to stand against – provide yet another example of an out-of-control federal agency failing to account for the fiscal reality when enacting new regulations.

The North Carolina Chamber believes that balanced regulations should provide protections to secure our environmental future without driving up burdensome costs for job creators. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to curb the EPA’s overreach and support regulations that allow businesses to operate at the pace of the modern economy.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber

Save the Date > Energy and Environmental Management Summit Sept. 17, 2015