Schwartz and Appel Co-Author WLF Legal Backgrounder on EPA Obligation to Evaluate Clean Air Act’s Effect on Employment

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Public Policy Partner Victor Schwartz and Associate Christopher Appel have co-authored a June 6, 2014, Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) “Legal Backgrounder” with Vermont Law School Professor Mark Latham. Titled “Is EPA Ignoring Clean Air Act Mandate to Analyze Impact of Regulations on Job Loss?,” the paper discusses litigation filed by energy companies against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allegedly failing to comply with Section 321(a) of the Clean Air Act. Under this section, EPA is required to conduct “continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and applicable implementation plans, including where appropriate, investigating threatened plant closures or reductions in employment allegedly resulting from such administration or enforcement.” The energy companies allege that recent agency action has placed “immense pressure on the electric generating sector—and other industries that traditionally burn coal—to reduce their consumption of coal.” According to the authors, if the plaintiffs prevail, “EPA would have to evaluate the job impact of existing and new regulatory regimes” thus allowing the pubic to debate whether job losses are worth the environmental benefits achieved by the regulations.