Talk:Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency

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The New York Times reports that the case was decided 5-4 in favor of Massachusetts. I haven't been able to find any more information Hashbrowncipher 15:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm wondering about what it says in the "Holding" section of the infobox template: "Greenhouse gases are air pollutants, and the EPA may regulate their emission." Shouldn't it say that the EPA must rgulate their emissions? That is what I understood from the holding, but may be mistaken. Anyone care to elaborate/explain?
Benjo 08:32, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
No. The Court did not require EPA to regulate greenhouse gases; they merely determined that greenhouse gases were within EPA's regulatory power, and that EPA must base its decision on whether to regulate on a strict reading of the text of the statute. 121a0012 (talk) 22:28, 24 May 2008 (UTC)


Wouldn't it be Massachusetts, et al. ...? 21:54, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

It is acceptable usage to drop all but the first party on each side and modifiers such as ‘et al.’ See The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et. al. eds., 17th ed. 2000). Additionally, I seem to recall it is good Wikipedia style to give articles the title that reflects what people are most likely to put in a search box when looking up the topic. My guess is that most people will drop the ‘et al.’ Xlation 19:03, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Point of View[edit]

Details section seems to be written by a pro-industry individual, especially "If the case continues on remand to the lower court, it could end up generating factual hearings of worldwide fame and significance, effectively putting either industrialized society or global warming -- or both -- on trial." ShigityShank 08:35, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

What "very extensive scientific evidence" is supplied? Nothing is mentioned about the EPA's case?

I read the whole article and have been following the Global Warming crisis in detail for years. I find this to be an excellent and perceptive article. Simesa 18:45, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Although I am in the majority that believe Global Warming is a crisis, I disagree with the deletions made on 30 November by -- comments? Simesa 07:19, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

EPA scientists revolt[edit]

More Than 10,000 EPA Scientists File Mass Petition for Action on Global Warming, November 29, 2006 Simesa 01:56, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Panel discussion[edit]

For those editors who are located in the United States, a Georgetown University panel discussion originally broadcast on C-SPAN2 a few hours after the case was argued is scheduled to be rebroadcast on C-SPAN's America and the Courts program Saturday evening. 23:19, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Needs Desents section added[edit]

Basically at a similar level of detail found in the finding section for both of the Desents. Jon 15:15, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Er.. does it? I can understand a very quick summary of the dissenting opinions, but... they were dissenting opinions. Not sure why they should receive the "same level of detail" as the actual opinion the court handed down... —bbatsell ¿? 15:18, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Currently the ruling section is only a few sentences. What I'm saying is that the section on desents shouldn't be several paragraphs (if the ruling section stays about the same size). Jon 15:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I have restructured this article to bring it's structure more into line with the other us supreme court decisions. Jon 14:47, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
In a 5-4 decision the dissenting opinions express widespread disagreement with the ruling and should be given space to express their position. The revised structure provides this. Braden 20:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Impact section cut[edit]

"The decision makes it significantly more likely that the EPA will approve California's and 11 other states' programs to limit tailpipe emissions, beginning with the 2009 model year." I've cut this as unsourced speculation. In addition, last night on C-SPAN2 (at a Senate Commitee hearing) one the lawyers was saying under this decision they don't have to approve the wavier. (In fact, he cited this decision as making it clear that CA would need a wavier if they wish to implement green house standards because it's now clear its covered by the Clean Air Act.) Jon 18:02, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

There was a source for this at the time, but I'm not inclined to go back and look it up. Simesa 18:58, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Section Stub tags[edit]

I've removed the ones under the decision and Robert's length since they now look about the right length. Actually the main thing that can be improved about this article is that the history section is too verbose and needs summarized. Jon 21:52, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Description of the majority opinion[edit]

The article's description of the majority opinion seems to give rather short shrift to the issues raised elsewhere in the article. It should at least summarize the majority's reasoning on standing and on permissible reasons for EPA to decide not to regulate, rather than leaving the court's reasoning defined solely in the negative, to be deduced from the descriptions of the dissents. 121a0012 (talk) 22:24, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

This page omitts discussion of the important issues in the case[edit]

Mass v. EPA is a case about agency law and federal jurisdiction.

The section "Granting of certiorari" distorts the questions before the Court.

It explains about fifteen different ways that the Supreme Court wasn't deciding if C02 is really an air polutant, but about the statutory definition. That's obvious. The Supreme Court is not empowered to decide such things. The EPA didn't say C02 wasn't a polutant because it didn't think C02 was bad, it said it wasn't a pollutant because, given that car exhaust is regulated by the Department of Transportation, Congress did not intend for the EPA to regulate it.

It also completely omitts the discussion of standing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Issues and Arguments[edit]

The sections describing the issues and arguments involved in the case do not have any listed citations. There is even a quotation in the very last paragraph of the arguments section, which is not cited. This makes it difficult to judge the authenticity of the most basic parts of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MubashR (talkcontribs) 02:25, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

So in plain English, what did SCOTUS decide?[edit]

Unlike the article Roe v Wade, which states the outcome of the case (a) in the lead (b) in ordinary English, this article is written in what reads to me like legal language, with no mention of the outcome in the lead, which is buried deep within the article in the same legal style.

All I could infer from the decision was that the court decided not to decide anything and referred the matter back to the EPA. Yet I read frequently that SCOTUS has decided that greenhouse gases are a pollutant. A non-lawyer like me should be able to tell which of those two interpretations is more accurate by reading the relevant Wikipedia article.

This prompts the following questions.

  1. What is the status of the proposition "As of 2007, that greenhouse gases are a pollutant is the law of the land" when asserted in the US? Is it true, false, undecided, unclear, or what?
  2. Is there some reason why this article is so much less clear than Roe v Wade? Does it reflect the relative obscurity of the topic, the politics of the winning side in some past edit war, an actual lack of clarity in the court's decision, or what?
  3. A summary of this article in plain English, including the implications of the decision, would be very helpful for us non-lawyers. Would it be preferable to make such a summary a section of this article or a separate introductory article?

One reason this topic has become more relevant this year is a paradoxical difference between China and the US. At the turn of the year China significantly increased taxes on pollutants but declined to include CO2 on its list of taxable pollutants. The US administration for its part has been making cabinet appointments and issuing executive orders apparently aimed at significantly scaling down its regulation of pollutants while leaving SCOTUS's 2007 decision unchallenged thus far. It would therefore be helpful to know what exactly that decision was, and in particular what it means today given this year's changes to the EPA, in order to clarify the current differences between the US and China on regulation of pollutants. Vaughan Pratt (talk) 17:48, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

As one indication of which side of the climate debate the article appears to have taken, when listing the issues at stake it says "If the CAA governs carbon dioxide, the EPA Administrator could decide not to regulate carbon dioxide, but only consistent with the terms of the CAA." Had the issue been about whether traffic safety laws govern speed, the corresponding statement would be "If the traffic safety laws govern speed, drivers could decide not to obey speed limits, but only consistent with the terms of the traffic safety laws." According to Wikipedia "obfuscation is the willful obscuring of the intended meaning of communication, usually by making the message confusing, ambiguous, or difficult to understand." This seems like a great example, as is much of the rest of the article, which seems designed to deflect attention from the correct answer to my question 1 above, whatever it might be (I certainly couldn't tell). Vaughan Pratt (talk) 19:03, 12 April 2017 (UTC)