Business Groups Plot Legal Challenge to EPA Regs

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


The Senate could vote on Thursday on an amendment from Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But should Murkowski’s effort fail, industry groups have a Plan B: they’re hoping to tie up emissions rules in a tangle of costly lawsuits.

I reported last week that the Chamber of Commerce will probably challenge the agency’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health. (That finding triggered the agency’s responsibility under the Clean Air Act to regulate such pollutants). And last Friday, executives and lobbyists from more than two dozen trade groups huddled in the law offices of Sidley Austin LLP to discuss their legal strategy, according to The Hill.

The groups that attended the meeting represent many of the nation’s biggest polluters. They included the Chamber, the American Chemistry Council, the American Petroleum Institute, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Public Power Association, and the Edison Electric Institute.

The meeting was convened by the firm’s general counsel Roger R. Martella Jr., the same former Bush EPA staffer-turned-lobbyist who helped draft Murkowski’s attempt last fall to block EPA rules on carbon emissions. He now lobbies on climate on behalf of clients like the National Alliance of Forest Owners and the Alliance of Food Associations.

It’s not surprising that industry groups are assembling a war room to fight EPA curbs on carbon dioxide. But what is interesting is that the group was apparently divided on the best course of action. The Hill observes that “two camps have emerged.” One wants to challenge whatever rules the EPA issues, while another wants to question the science of global warming itself.  One thing’s for sure: With cap-and-trade legislation looking less likely by the minute, the fight over the EPA is about to heat up fast.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate