US Supreme Court weighs costs and benefits assessed by the EPA


RegBlog hosts a series on the Michigan vs. EPA currently before the Supreme Court. The three essays of the series draw on the experience of law students at New York University Law School who observed the debate at the Supreme Court.

Twenty-one states and a coalition of power plant and coal industry representatives have challenged the adequacy of the EPA’s cost-benefit analysis of its air pollution regulation. As highlighted by Daniel Cheung, a first question is when EPA was required to consider costs. In fact, EPA has not disputed that costs should be considered in environmental regulation. It has only considered improper to consider costs at the early listing stage as requested by the coal coalition. The latter has also claimed that the EPA should ignore benefits that are indirect effects of the rule. However, according to Cerin Lindgrensvage, legal precedent not only supports, but also requires the EPA to take indirect effects of its regulations into account. Finally, as highlighted by Hilary K. Nakasone, one Justice questioned why the Court should even question EPA’s analysis when the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has already positively reviewed the rule and the regulatory impact analysis.

(Fabrizio Di Mascio)

Photo credits: JT