Energy v. Water

Odom, Olivia
May 2010
Ecology Law Quarterly;2010, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p353
Academic Journal
The role of economics in environmental regulation lies at the heart of the Supreme Court's 2009 decision in Entergy Corporation v. Riverkeeper. In Riverkeeper, the Supreme Court determined that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to conduct cost-benefit analysis when promulgating technology standards for cooling water intake structures at existing power plants pursuant to the Clean Water Act. Like many environmental regulations, the Clean Water Act is silent on the use of such analysis. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia interpreted the Act to permit the EPA's reliance on cost-benefit analysis. As Justice Breyer posits in his concurrence, in times of limited resources and dire environmental problems it is wasteful to force an industry to spend billions to save one more fish while those resources may be more wisely spent resolving other environmental woes. This Note argues that such an approach can only work when the environmental woes are properly defined. In the case at hand, the EPA grossly oversimplified the environmental problem and financial burdens and thus miscalculated the environmental and financial benefits of the best technology available. By ignoring the environmental harm caused by power plant water use and consumption, the EPA did not factor in the potentially huge environmental benefits of restoring instream flows and the financial and social benefit of averting a crisis in the energy-water nexus.


Related Articles

  • Parties in EPA lawsuit debate the `M' word. Krukowski // Pollution Engineering;Dec99, Vol. 31 Issue 13, p9 

    Details the accusations made by the United States Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against utilities of modernizing coal-fired plants in ten Midwestern and Southern states without updating their air emissions control equipment. EPA requirement for plants to install...

  • Riverkeeper, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency: Finally a Solution the Courts Can Live With … Almost. Dennis-Parks, Reda M. // Ecology Law Quarterly;2005, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p689 

    The article discusses the ruling on the case Riverkeeper Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning regulations for reducing harm to aquatic life caused by power plant water intake. The court has upheld an EPA regulation and used some very strong regulation in support...

  • Grand Canyon visibility to improve under EPA rule.  // EPA Journal;Sep/Oct91, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p2 

    Reports that the Environmental Protection Agency has adopted a final regulation that will cut by 90 percent the pollution emitted by the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona. Excerpts of reports from `The Washington Post' and `The Los Angeles Times.'

  • Greens Vow Suit To Force EPA Action On Coal Ash. HOLLY, CHRIS // Energy Daily;1/23/2012, Issue 15, p2 

    The article reports on the plan of 10 environmental groups and an Indian tribe to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to meet statutory deadlines for reviewing and revising regulations governing the management and disposal of coal combustion residues from power...

  • 10 states sue EPA over CO2. Geiselman, Bruce // Waste News;5/8/2006, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p31 

    The article states that ten states have filed a lawsuit seeking to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants across the nation. The EPA in February 2006 revised emission standards for power plants under the Clean Air Act,...

  • 9 states sue EPA; call to protect kids' health. Geiselman, Bruce // Waste News;4/11/2005, Vol. 10 Issue 27, p10 

    The article focuses on a lawsuit filed by nine U.S. states asking a federal court to block the federal government from adopting a new mercury standard for coal-fired power plants. New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey's office is taking the lead, and filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of...

  • Sackett v. EPA: Parties may challenge Clean Water Act compliance orders. GARRETT, THEODORE L. // Trends (15339556);Jul/Aug2012, Vol. 43 Issue 6, p12 

    The article reports that the U.S. Supreme Court given judgment in the Sackett v. EPA, 132 S. Ct. 1367 (2012) case. The Court held that the Sacketts may bring a civil action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to challenge U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) compliance...

  • Group sues to force EPA to clean Chesapeake Bay. Witte, Brian // Buffalo Law Journal;1/12/2009, Vol. 81 Issue 4, p13 

    The article reports on a federal lawsuit filed by Chesapeake Bay Foundation to oblige the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the clean up of Chesapeake Bay, an estuary in the Maryland-Virginia area in the U.S. William Baker, president of Chesapeake Bay Foundation, asserts that the...

  • In Brief. Garrett, Theodore L. // Trends (15339556);Nov/Dec2008, Vol. 40 Issue 2, p8 

    The article discusses several court cases in the U.S. including Miccosukee Tribe of Indians v. U.S., wherein the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) committed error in resolving that the phosphorus rule of Florida for the Everglades did not change quality standards of water, U.S. v. Jho...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics