Fire up the time machine!
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a plea Thursday to block a contentious air pollution rule for power plants in a big victory for the Obama administration.
Roberts’s order came despite his court’s 5-4 decision last year ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation, known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, is illegal.
Michigan led a group of 20 states last month — empowered by the Supreme Court’s recent unprecedented decision to halt the EPA’s carbon dioxide rule for power plants — in asking the court to live up to its ruling last year and block the regulation’s enforcement.
“Unless this court stays or enjoins further operation of the Mercury and Air Toxics rule, this court’s recent decision in Michigan v. EPA will be thwarted,” the states wrote in a Feb. 23 filing with the court.
“A stay or injunction is appropriate because this court has already held that the finding on which the rule rests in unlawful and beyond EPA’s statutory authority.”
The EPA responded that no judicial stay is necessary since it’s working to fix the problem the court identified by next month, and the states would not suffer irreparable harm in that time.
“The requested stay would harm the public interest by undermining reliance interests and the public health and environmental benefits associated with the rule,” the government said. “The application lacks merit and should be denied.” ...
The mercury pollution standards, made final in 2012, are a separate regulation from the more controversial and costly carbon dioxide limits for power plants that are also being litigated in court. ...
EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said on Thursday the agency is “very pleased” with Roberts’s order.
“These practical and achievable standards cut harmful pollution from power plants, saving thousands of lives each year and preventing heart and asthma attacks,” she said, adding that the agency’s calculations show $9 in health benefits for every dollar in compliance costs for the regulation.
Harrison confirmed that the EPA next month plans to finalize a fix to the rule to retroactively apply its cost-benefit analysis in the way the Supreme Court said was necessary.
The court ruled last June that the EPA should have conducted a cost-benefit analysis on the regulation before it even decided to start writing it. The agency did so as part of the regulatory process, but the justices said that was not sufficient.
Following the first link:
The Supreme Court ruled last year that the Obama administration should have completed a cost-benefit analysis before it even started the regulatory process for the mercury and air toxics (MATS) standards. ...
The EPA is working to fix the regulation by retroactively writing a cost-benefit analysis. It already completed such an analysis as a later step in the regulatory process, and it’s planning to apply that now.
Here is the link to the benefit-cost analysis: https://www3.epa.gov/ttnecas1/regdata/RIAs/matsriafinal.pdf. Can they simply change the date on this from December 2011 to sometime "before it even started the regulatory process"?