Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

AG Peterson Hails EPA Ruling

Michigan et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

On Writs of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court - June 29, 2015

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson today hailed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Michigan et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) et al. in which the State of Nebraska joined twenty other States[1] and industry groups in filing a challenge to the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act without first taking into consideration the cost of compliance.

Under the Clean Air Act, EPA can regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants from power plants if the Agency finds the regulation “appro­priate and necessary.” However, without considering the cost of compliance, EPA could not make a determination as to whether the regulations were “appropriate.” The States estimated that the cost of additional regulations on power plants would be $9.6 billion a year, but the quantifiable benefits from any reduction in emissions would only be $4 to $6 million a year.

“This ruling benefits all Nebraskans who utilize public power, as the cost to implement these additional regulations would have negatively impacted all electrical ratepayers in the State,” said Attorney General Doug Peterson.

In a 5-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the EPA and found that the agency should have considered compliance costs when it decided to limit emissions from power plants.

The case has been remanded to the D.C. Circuit Court.


[1] Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming.