by Mark Latham, Victor E. Schwartz, Christopher E. Appel
Washington Legal Foundation
June 10, 2014
When the law instructs us to do something, it is not a suggestion but a requirement. Likewise, when the law instructs a federal agency to do something, the agency must also comply with statutory requirements. A recent lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, however, alleges that the agency has for decades systematically failed to do just that, essentially ignoring a requirement under the Clean Air Act to conduct ongoing employment impact analyses of its regulations. In Murray Energy Corp. v. McCarthy, a group of energy companies are suing EPA for failing to comply with a section of the CAA that requires the agency to “conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment” from the Act’s regulations, administration, and enforcement. If the EPA is unwilling to fulfill its obligations under CAA, Murray Energy Corp. could provide the courts with a vehicle to order their compliance.