In April 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC agreed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to delay indefinitely a lawsuit over the Agency’s regulation governing mercury pollution from power plants. Lawyers for the EPA argued that they needed time to evaluate the status of the lawsuit, due to “the recent change in Administration.” The case, Murray v. EPA , centers on the Agency’s analysis of the benefits of reducing mercury pollution. Key to that litigation is the EPA’s treatment of co-benefits—the incidental reductions to pollutants aside from mercury. As of this writing, the Agency has still not decided how to proceed. This case summarizes the EPA’s 2011 Regulatory Impact Analysis at the heart of the legal dispute. 1
In March 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reopened an evaluation of the automotive fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards that the EPA had finalized in January. This case provides a history of the rules, along with assessments of their costs and benefits. It addresses numerous debates, including the environmental benefits of the rules, the role of electric vehicles, whether the standards should be less strict for larger cars, and tradeoffs between fuel economy and safety.