Texas may have new courtroom ammunition in its fight over federal regulation of greenhouse gases: the Supreme Court‘s recent ruling on health care reform.
The high court decision limited the power of Congress to force states to take certain actions by threatening to withhold federal money – in the Affordable Care Act case, existing Medicaid funds. Chief Justice John Roberts called the threat “a gun to the head” of states.
Now, Texas attorneys claim the Environmental Protection Agency has acted in a similar fashion by threatening states without plans to control emissions of gases linked to global warming with construction bans on power plants, refineries and other large industrial facilities.
The EPA’s threat of “a construction moratorium is no less ‘a gun to the head’ than Congress’s threat to terminate Medicaid funding,” Mark DeLaquil, an attorney at the firm Baker Hostetler, which represents Texas, wrote in a letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.