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SCOTUS West Virginia v. EPA Ruling: Impact on Renewable Energy Resources and Clean Power Initiatives

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, September 22, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will provide attorneys with a detailed discussion on the impact of the recent SCOTUS decision in West Virginia v. EPA restricting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority under the Clean Air Act in issuing limitations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The panel will also discuss the "major questions doctrine" for interpreting the limits of administrative power and the ruling's impact on renewable energy resources and the future of climate change initiatives.


In West Virginia v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the EPA lacked authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The ruling struck down the Obama-era Clean Power Plan to shift electricity generation from higher-emitting to lower-emitting energy producers. Counsel must recognize the impact this ruling has on clean energy initiatives, climate impact investing, and renewable energy resources.

The Supreme Court based its decision primarily on the "major questions doctrine," stating that the "history and the breadth of the authority that the agency has asserted and the economic and political significance of that assertion" must point to "clear congressional authorization" for the authority claimed to limit emissions by shifting the grid to lower-emitting sources. The ruling could derail several climate impact funds, investing, and other clean energy initiatives.

In addition, the Court's ruling could overturn the Chevron doctrine which states that when a legislative delegation to an administrative agency on a particular issue or question is not explicit but implicit, a court may not substitute its interpretation of the statute for a reasonable interpretation made by the administrative agency. This will have a significant impact on future EPA regulations and other executive agencies, renewables, and the future of climate change regulation.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the implications of West Virginia v. EPA and how the major questions doctrine impacts renewable energy resources, climate impact investing, and the future of climate change regulations.



  1. Overview of West Virginia v. EPA
  2. Impact on Clean Power Plan and renewable energy resources
  3. Future of administrative regulations
  4. Effects on climate impact investing and corporate "net zero" plans


The panel will discuss these and other key issues:

  • What is the history of the major questions doctrine?
  • How does the decision in West Virginia v. EPA affect renewable energy resources, investing, and "net zero" plans?
  • How does the decision impact climate change regulation and the future of administrative regulation?


Gannett, Craig
Craig Gannett

Davis Wright Tremaine

Mr. Gannett focuses his practice in the fields of electric utility regulation, renewable energy development, and...  |  Read More

Gossett, David
David M. Gossett

Davis Wright Tremaine

Mr. Gossett is a leading appellate and regulatory litigator who uses his years of practice in government and the...  |  Read More

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