CSAPR is Better Than BART

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected environmental and state/industry challenges to EPA’s Regional Haze Rule.  In essence, the ruling confirms that EPA was reasonable in determining that compliance with its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule was sufficiently stringent to constitute “better-than BART” and thus could excuse states from complying with Best Available Retrofit Requirements where they are subject to CSAPR.  

Boy, that was a mouthful.

The ruling is not really surprising, but here are a few notable items.

  • Judge Williams went out of his way to note the accepted pronunciation of CSAPR – as though it were “CASPER”.  I’m glad that important point has finally been put to rest.
  • The opinion counts as another example in my accumulated list of cases in which Chevron or Auer deference has been used to uphold the conservative position in a case.  The environmental groups had argued that EPA’s interpretation of its own regulations was flawed.  The Court, relying in part on Auer, concluded that EPA’s interpretation was reasonable and must be upheld.
  • The case does provide some helpful guidelines regarding when EPA’s failure to address comments on proposed rules is significant enough to matter.  The Court made clear that, where the point made in the comment is too speculative, agency failure to address it need not be fatal.

I am disappointed, however, that there are no Casper the Friendly Ghost / Bart Simpson videos that would illustrate the principle that CSAPR is better than BART, so you’ll have to make do with this clip that I somehow had never heard before today.

4 thoughts on “CSAPR is Better Than BART

  1. CSPAR is a powerful rule because it’s linked to NAAQS, most specifically the ozone standard. Obama’s 2nd term EPA & other advisers erred when their counsel resulted in a proposed, legally doomed Clean Power Plan(CPP), rather than a more stringent ozone standard. The proposed CPP never had a legal chace, even with Chevron; and in the end it turned out to be a castrophic political mirage. The science could have supported a much more stringent ozone standard, up to 15% lower. The current standard kicks the **** out of coal, a more stringent standard, even at something less than 15%, would crush coal. CSPAR not only trumps BART it trumps CPP and in the end it could have trumped Trump.

    • Bob:

      Really interesting point. Gina McCarthy actually agrees with you. She said publicly before the CPP was promulgated that EPA’s rules on traditional pollutants were going to have the biggest impact on CO2 emissions.

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