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News Posted on November 26, 2013

Professor Frank Publishes Op-ed on Supreme Court Environmental Case in Daily Journal

Professor of Environmental Practice Richard Frank has contributed a guest column to the Daily Journal on the U.S. Supreme Court climate change case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. The case focuses on the appropriate role of the federal Clean Air Act in mitigating the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.  Professor Frank's op-ed offers an overview of the case, as well as observations about the legal questions under review and broader implications of the Court's anticipated decision.

If the Court rules that the EPA lacks the power to regulate stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) such as coal-fired power plants, pressure will build for state regulation, Frank writes.  Two years ago, the Court ruled that efforts by California and other states to reduce GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants using federal nuisance law had been "displaced" by the Clean Air Act and the EPA's regulatory efforts, he continues.  "It would be ironic indeed if the Justices were now to rule that the EPA lacks authority to regulate GHG emissions from such stationary sources under the same statute," writes Frank.

Frank, a 1974 graduate of King Hall, is a leader in the field of environmental law and the founding Director of the California Environmental Law and Policy Center at UC Davis School of Law.