House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement ahead of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The EPA acted outside its congressionally-authorized, Clean Air Act authority by issuing significantly overreaching rules — namely the Clean Power Plan — to attempt to transform the nation’s power sector through emissions regulations. The fact is the EPA doesn’t have clear and specific congressional authorization to write these rules. It doesn’t have the constitutional authority to issue expansive regulations, circumvent Congress, and in effect, write the law.

“Much like when it attempted to regulate every mud puddle in America, the EPA is again abusing its power and undermining representative government. As we wrote in our amicus brief to the court, if Congress intended to give the EPA sweeping authority to transform our economy, Congress would have done so explicitly. These powers over major issues are not to be given to the administrative state, and it’s my sincere hope that after the oral arguments the Supreme Court reaffirms that the people’s voice is heard through their representatives, not through unaccountable bureaucrats. This is an historic opportunity for the Supreme Court to reaffirm Article I of the Constitution, which gives the legislative branch the exclusive power to make laws.”

NOTE: In December 2021, House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) led 47 senators and 44 House members on an amicus curiae brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petitioners in West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency.

Key excerpts from the brief:

  • “If Congress had intended to give the EPA such sweeping authority to transform an entire sector of our economy, Congress would have done so explicitly. An administrative agency like the EPA may decide issues of such vast economic and political significance only when the agency can point to ‘clear congressional authorization.”
  • “Decisions regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the power sector are major policy questions with vast economic and political significance. Only elected members of Congress, representing the will of the people, may decide these questions. The EPA’s attempt to issue expansive regulations cannot stand in the absence of clear congressional authorization.”
  •  “Section 111(d) [of the Clean Air Act] provides limited authority for the EPA to prescribe regulations in certain narrow circumstances.  Section 111(d) does not provide the EPA with the authority to compel a substantial and costly shift in electric power generation across the entire nation.”
  • “By careful design, our Constitution ‘prescribes a process for making law, and within that process there are many accountability checkpoints.’  Public debate – even fervent opposition to a policy choice one way or the other – enhances the people’s engagement with their government.  Elected representatives of the people, not administrative agencies, therefore must be responsible for making the difficult policy choices that have tremendous economic and political impacts on our entire nation.”

CLICK HERE to read the full amicus brief.


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