Climate Change Project

Table of Contents



Administrative Law

Guide to Massachusetts v. E.P.A., 127 S.Ct. 1438 (2007)

What is the gas at issue?

Why do we care about it?

Where does it come from?

What does the clear air act §7521(a)(1) require the EPA to issue regulations on?

What is the definition of pollutant in the act?

Does this definition give clear guidance?

What was the National Climate Program Act of 1978?

What did the Global Climate Protection Act of 1987 require the EPA to do?

What is the Kyoto Protocol?

Why did the senate reject it?

What was Congress worried about?

Was this a partisan vote?

What did the petition of October 20, 1999 ask the EPA to do?

How did EPA respond to this petition?

Did EPA seek public comment on the petition?

What were EPA two findings when it finally ruled on the petition in 2003?

What has changed between 1998 and 2003?

What did the EPA cite as evidence that Congress did not intend for the EPA to regulate green house gasses?

How was this position strengthened by the political history of the Clean Air Act?

What did EPA want from Congress before regulating green house gasses?

What is the regulatory conflicts problem with the EPA regulating gasoline mileage?

What does the EPA think of the association between global warming and human production of greenhouse gases?

Why would motor vehicle regulations conflict with the goal of a comprehensive approach to global warming?

Why would such regulations weaken the president's ability to persuade developing countries to lower their emissions?

Why does an injury to everyone, usually mean that a given litigant cannot show individualized injury?

What does Baker v. Carr tell us about the injury requirement?

What did Lujan tell us about the special dispensation for standing when Congress creates a right to challenge the procedure an agency is following?

What is the more generous formulation of this principle in the Sugar Cane Growers case?

Why  is this going to be critical for a global warming case?

What does Justice Holmes tell us about the special status of a state as litigant?

Who does the state really represent and why does that broaden its standing as compared to a private litigant?

Does Mass also own affected land?

What powers did the state give up when it entered the Union that limit what it can do about global warming?

What does it mean to say that the state is acting as parens patriae

What are the injuries to Mass caused by global warming?

Why is this imminent?

What is the particularized injury that Mass claims to its own lands?

Why does EPA say causation fails?

What does EPA say is the main reason its efforts will not change the outcome?

While the court ignores it, does it matter that anything done today will have no effect for decades?

Why does the court say small, incremental reforms are important?

Why would accepting the EPA's argument in this case hurt agencies in other cases when they want to regulate something?

Does the court accept that automobile emissions are only a small contributor to global warming?

Does redressability require that the remedy fix all the plaintiff's problems?

What does the court remind us about the factual arguments in this case as it sums up?  Have these been tested in court?

What does the court say Mass has standing to do?

What does Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U. S. 821 (1985) tell us about the chances of a litigant forcing the agency to take an enforcement action?

Why are refusals to make rules more amenable to judicial review?

Why does the existence of a procedure for requesting rulemaking imply some role for judicial review of the denial of the petition for rulemaking?

What was the primary reason the EPA refused to make a rule on carbon dioxide?

Why is this sort of reason especially attractive for judicial review?

What is the Clean Air Act definition of air pollution?

Under this definition, are you an air polluter?

Would it really be possible to regulate everything covered by this definition?

In the tobacco case, what would the FDA have had to do if tobacco were covered by the act?

Why is this case different?

Why did subsequent congressional enactments make it clear that congress did not intend that the FDA regulate tobacco?

Are those present for carbon dioxide?

Does it matter that it was clear when the Clear Air Act was passed that Congress did not contemplate it covering green house gasses?

What does the EPA need to do to support its refusal to make a rule so that the courts cannot find the refusal arbitrary and capricious?

Given the broad language of the Clear Air Act, what should EPA have done to avoid this case?

The dissent

Which judges are dissenting?

What is a political question and why does the dissent believe regulating carbon dioxide is a classic political question?

What was the state trying to do in the Tennessee Copper case?

How was the injury different the case from the instant case?

Was this a question of standing or of remedy?

Why would the state's remedy be different from the private parties?

Would the private landowners have had standing?

Would they have standing in Mass v. EPA?

Why is this a critical difference?

How does the court analogize parens patriae standing to associational standing?

Why does this make the state's case harder, not easier as the majority found?

Why is it inconsistent for the court to allow parens patriae standing and also allow claims based on the state's ownership of land?

Did any of the litigants rely on Tennessee Copper?

Has it been used in other cases to support the majority's theory?

Why is the dissent's attack on the factual basis of the case misplaced?

What would be necessary for this analysis to be important, i.e., how did EPA screw up the record?

What was the standing issue in the SCRAP case?

What does the dissent say SCRAP made standing into?


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