Former EPA Administrators Ruckelshaus and Reilly Join Litigation to Back President’s Plan to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants

Harvard Professors Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus to write brief

Former United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrators William D. Ruckelshaus and William K. Reilly formally moved today to participate in pending litigation in support of the legality of the President’s Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s single largest source of such pollutants: existing power plants. The motion seeking leave to file a friend of the court brief was written by Freeman and Lazarus of Harvard Law School, who will also author the brief.

Ruckelshaus served as EPA’s first Administrator under President Richard Nixon and returned to EPA to serve as its fifth Administrator under President Ronald Reagan. Reilly was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to serve as EPA’s seventh Administrator. As described in their joint motion, filed today with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, they believe that the Clean Power Plan represents the very kind of pragmatic, flexible and cost- effective pollution control program they endorsed while at EPA. The Plan properly respects State sovereignty by providing States with substantial authority and discretion to decide whether and how best to administer its requirements. The Clean Power Plan also falls well within the bounds of an Administrator’s authority to adopt reasonable interpretations of existing statutory language to address unforeseen problems without the need to resort to congressional amendment of current law. Finally, the Clean Power Plan’s consideration of fuel shifting as a cost-effective means of reducing pollution, and its practical approach to the operation of the nation’s electricity grid, reflects a sensible and energy-sensitive approach to pollution control in line with the Agency’s best traditions.