Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead explained to The Associated Press that West Virginia v. EPA challenged how far the EPA could go to influence the industry’s transition away from coal and to cleaner sources.
“It was sort of a scary prospect that EPA had the authority to close down power plants and build others,” said Holmstead. “All the major industry groups opposed that approach because of what they saw as a regulatory overreach. Power companies may still feel the same way, but in the meantime, they’ve invested a lot of resources to try to decarbonize.”
When Congress writes laws, it often leaves implementation details up to regulators such as the EPA. In this case, energy industry officials argued that the EPA had gone too far and overstepped what Congress had intended. The challenge in the West Virginia case sought to diminish that authority.