Experts: New Federal Law Defines CO2 as a Pollutant

Concerns have been raised that provisions in the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) may counteract the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent deregulatory ruling in West Virginia vs. U.S. EPA.

According to this MarketWatch opinion piece by Patrick Parenteau, an environmental law expert, the IRA amends the Clean Air Act to define several greenhouse gases as air pollutants — “so it will help the EPA as it plans future regulations. But it doesn’t specifically grant the EPA new authority to regulate power plants.”

The Competitive Enterprise Institute says nothing in the new law displaces, weakens, or rebuts any of the premises on which the Court decided in West Virginia case. But as noted in this story by The New York Times, some experts say the IRA’s new language will make it more difficult to legally challenge future EPA actions on greenhouse gases. 9/1/2022