Industry groups and twenty-three states are waiting to find out whether the Supreme Court will accept certiorari and review a D.C. Circuit decision to uphold the EPA’s rules limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants. The 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics standards were drafted under the Clean Air Act. The D.C. Circuit upheld the standards.
Opponents argue the standards and the D.C. Circuit’s ruling should be overturned because the court filed to consider the costs associated with implementing the rules. In August, Murray Energy Corporation joined the case by filing an amicus brief. On October 7, 2014, the United Mine Workers of America held a rally at the EPA’s offices in Washington, D.C. to protest the standards, which they say would destroy the nation’s coal industry and coal-related jobs.
Certiorari is also pending in the case of ONEOK Inc., et al. v. Learjet, et al., No. 13-271, an appeal from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which addresses whether the Natural Gas Act preempts state law claims challenging industry practices that directly affect the wholesale natural gas market when those claims are asserted by litigants who purchased gas in retail transactions.
The respondents to the Supreme Court petition are commercial and industrial users of natural gas who sued ONEOK and other energy companies for allegedly engaging in “indexing” rates for natural gas, a practice which they claim drives up prices in the wholesale and retail gas markets.
For further reports, stay tuned to this blog, or contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.