Schuette Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Enforce Earlier Victory Over EPA Legal Overreach

Contact: Andrea Bitely 517-373-8060

February 24, 2016

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has requested that the U.S. Supreme Court issue a stay to pause any further action by President Obama and the EPA to implement their mercury power plant rule until they follow a 2015 Supreme Court ruling that required the EPA to consider costs in implementing such rules, as required by federal law.  

This request closely follows behind the Court’s decision this month to stay President Obama and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, another example of EPA legal overreach. 

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Michigan v. EPA in June 2015 stated that the EPA must follow federal law and consider costs when implementing new regulations on power plants. The ruling sent the case back to the D.C. Circuit Court to implement the ruling of the higher court. In the meantime, the D.C. Circuit Court has failed to vacate the unauthorized rule, leaving it in place with the same force of law despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of it. 

The request was filed with Chief Justice John Roberts. Only one justice is required to approve the stay, but a justice may forward the request to the whole court. If granted, the court will have effectively put the brakes on EPA’s power to regulate power plants under one more statute, in addition to the numerous regulations that already apply to them.

“When the U.S. Supreme Court speaks, the federal government must listen,” said Schuette. “Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA must follow federal law and consider costs before implementing new regulations on job creators and American families. We are simply asking the court to enforce its ruling and require the EPA to follow the law like everyone else.”

“For more than seven months since this Court's decision in Michigan v. EPA, has already caused irreparable harm. It has imposed literally billions of dollars of compliance costs on utilities, and by extension, all families who use electricity.”

The compliance costs forced by the EPA exceed the projected annual $4 to $6 million in environmental benefits from the Rule's reduction of hazardous-air-pollutant emissions, by a ratio of at least $26 of costs for every $1 of benefit.