Probing Environmental Discretion: An Argument for Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Motor Vehicles under the Clean Air Act


The topic of my comment centers on a discussion of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Massachusetts v. EPA case. In this case, the D.C. Circuit addressed the issue of whether the Clean Air Act authorized the EPA Administrator to control greenhouse gas emissions of new motor vehicles and engines. A three-judge panel voted 2-1 against reviewing the EPA’s decision that it lacked authority under federal law to regulate them. Late last term, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear arguments to resolve this controversy. This comment asserts that the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to regulate GHG emissions from new motor vehicles. Furthermore, it will provide a discussion of the issues of Article III standing and the test of statutory interpretation as reasoned under Chevron USA, Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. The comment will conclude by examining how failure to control the production of GHG emissions from new motor vehicles and engines limits the impact of the CAA to protect the public welfare from threats to the environment.


Environmental Law

Date of this Version

August 2006