WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today led 47 senators and 44 House members on an amicus curiae brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petitioners, including the state of West Virginia, in the pending case West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency.
The members agree that EPA acted outside its congressionally-authorized authority by issuing significantly overreaching rules—namely the Clean Power Plan—to attempt to transform the nation’s power sector through emissions regulations under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
“If Congress had intended to give the EPA such sweeping authority to transform an entire sector of our economy, Congress would have done so explicitly. An administrative agency like the EPA may decide issues of such vast economic and political significance only when the agency can point to ‘clear congressional authorization.’
“Decisions regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the power sector are major policy questions with vast economic and political significance. Only elected members of Congress, representing the will of the people, may decide these questions. The EPA’s attempt to issue expansive regulations cannot stand in the absence of clear congressional authorization.
“Congress knows how to address greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, Congress has decided to pass transformative laws that incentivize reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from a wide range of industries, including the electric power sector,” the brief states.