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MEDIA ADVISORY: Supreme Court Decision Upholds EPA Rules with Limits; Vermont Law Expert Available to Comment

Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Media Relations, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593,

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., June 23, 2014—Vermont Law School environmental law expert Patrick Parenteau is available to comment on a Supreme Court ruling handed down Monday that places limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules to address greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories—but that leaves the EPA’s plans largely intact.

“The justices said that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks authority in some cases to force companies to evaluate ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” reported The Associated Press. “This rule applies when a company needs a permit to expand facilities or build new ones that would increase overall pollution. Carbon dioxide is the chief gas linked to global warming.”

“EPA is getting almost everything it wanted in this case,” Justice Antonin Scalia said in announcing the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling, which follows a challenge to the rules in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. “It sought to regulate sources it said were responsible for 86 percent of all the greenhouse gases emitted from stationary sources nationwide. Under our holdings, EPA will be able to regulate sources responsible for 83 percent of those emissions.”

Regulation of carbon emissions for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act § 111 is one of the issues included in Vermont Law School’s Top 10 Environmental Watch List for 2014, which focuses on climate change as the defining challenge of our time.

VLS environmental law expert Patrick Parenteau is available for immediate comment on the ruling:

  • Patrick Parenteau, senior counsel, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, 802-299-7029 (cell),


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, and LLM in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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