A useful overview of WV v. EPA

RE: West Virginia v. EPA, 597 U.S. __, 2022 WL 2347278 (June 30, 2022).

If you are interested in better understanding the Supreme Court’s limiting of regulatory agencies’ authority to wield far-reaching power over large swaths of the US economy, a recently published summary is instructive.


Regulatory experts at Beveridge & Diamond law firm point out key takeaways of the case in terms that business executives and directors can understand.

A few particularly interesting points raised by the firm include the following:

1. “Major questions” doctrine. Federal agencies must have a clear statement of congressional delegation in order to exercise broad authority over a major question of significant economic and political significance. The Court elaborated and explained criteria for identifying “major questions.”

5. Power sector practical effects. The practical outcome for the power sector is limited in that most companies have already decarbonized at a rate faster than the EPA’s ultra vires actions demanded. The companies have done so primarily for their own economic reasons independent of EPA requirements.

6. States. The decision likely will motivate environmentally-conscious states to use their own independent legislative authority to regulate greenhouse emissions within their jurisdiction.

7. Future challenges. Expect a proliferation of litigation challenging rulemaking when the action of an agency is likely to have significant economic or political impact beyond clearly expressed regulatory authority granted by Congress.


The full text of this important case may be found at the following link: