Ground Control to EPA: The Regulation of Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act




Woods, Clinton J.

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Due to a variety of recent legal and political developments, aviation interests face the potential regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, aircraft engines, and aviation operations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Section 231 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). This significant turn of events could radically alter the regulatory, environmental, economic, and safety landscape confronting the airline and aerospace industries at the federal level. This paper will assess the driving forces prompting this outcome, including: a more environmentally activist Obama presidency (and the corresponding character of the EPA); the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA; Congressional pressure for a climate change solution; petitions from both state governments and nonprofit organizations to the EPA over aviation emissions; and the EPA’s recently released blueprint for economy-wide greenhouse regulation under the Clean Air Act.



EPA, Greenhouse gas emissions