Burke Center Webinar Considers What's at Stake in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

Lisa Heinzerling and James Coleman

Can the Environmental Protection Agency take aggressive action to control greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector? This is the question facing the U.S. Supreme Court in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency.  In this one-hour webinar held on Feb. 24, 2022, “Climate Change Returns to the Supreme Court: The Issues and Stakes in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency,” Lisa Heinzerling, the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center; and James Coleman, the Robert G. Storey Distinguished Faculty Fellow and Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law previewed the case and explored why it could produce the most important environmental decision of the decade, if not of the 21st century to date. 

During the webinar, Professors Heinzerling and Coleman examined the various legal arguments presented to the justices and detailed the broader stakes for climate change policy and the administrative state. While the case centers on the EPA’s authority under one provision of the Clean Air Act, how the Court approaches the issue could have far-reaching implications for other regulatory programs, particularly if the Court rests its decision on the so-called “major questions” doctrine. The Court heard oral arguments in West Virginia v. EPA on Feb. 28, 2022, and a decision is expected by late June. 

The webinar was moderated by Jonathan H. Adler, the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law, and sponsored by the Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. The webinar is one of many Burke Center programs exploring contemporary issues and controversies in environmental law and is available for on-demand viewing. Online CLE credit will be available in April.