November 30, 2006

Mr. Elliott participates on a key panel entitled “Global Warming in the Supreme Court: Massachusetts v. EPA” at the Georgetown University Law Center.

On November 29, Washington partner E. Donald Elliott participated on a key panel entitled “Global Warming in the Supreme Court:   Massachusetts v. EPA” at the Georgetown University Law Center.  The panel discussion, which was broadcast live on C-SPAN, was conducted immediately after oral arguments were presented before the Supreme Court in Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al. v. EPA, a landmark case marking the first time the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a matter relating directly to global warming.  In the case, Massachusetts and other petitioners are asking the Court to set aside an EPA decision not to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  The suit stems from EPA’s denial of a petition to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.  Mr. Elliott served on the panel with three other environmental law experts to discuss and analyze the events of the day.  Mr. Elliott, a former EPA general counsel, predicted a narrow win for the EPA, saying that he thought that the Supreme Court would be unable to agree on a single opinion but 2-4 justices would hold there was no standing to bring the suit, and another 2-3 justices would rule in favor of EPA on a different ground, holding that EPA had not abused its discretion in declining to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from motor vehicles at this time.  However, he also stated that of all possible outcomes, “None of them are good from the standpoint of the Bush administration.” Quoting former Solicitor General Ken Starr, he said “there are victories and there are developments.”  Whatever the outcome, the Supreme Court ruling is going to be a “development” for the Bush administration because it will focus more public and Congressional attention on the issue, he said.  Click here for link to Georgetown Law page/video clip.

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