Michael Herz, Cardozo School of Law

EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases: Executive Overreach or Faithful Agency

Tue, 11/11/2014
Graduate Students
Policy Students

The Program in Law and Public Affairs invites MPP/MPA students to join us for "Law in the Public Service: Not Just for Lawyers," where our guest will be Michael Herz, Arthur Kaplan Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law, and former attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund.

This event is by invitation only. If interested, please e-mail Judi Rivkin at jrivkin@princeton.edu.

In the absence of congressional legislation specifically addressing greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama Administration has forged ahead on its own.  In particular, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has adopted, and is in the process of adopting, significant restrictions on GHG emissions pursuant to the Clean Air Act.  The most important and controversial of these are proposed regulations covering existing power plants that are scheduled to be finalized in June 2015.  The battle over the legitimacy of EPA’s efforts will surely continue – in Congress, in the courts, and among interested observers (both informed and uninformed) -- for years after these regulations are promulgated.  For some, EPA’s actions represent a tyrannical aggrandizement of executive power at the expense of congressional policymaking.  For others, the agency is responsibly responding to a significant threat using authority that Congress delegated to it long ago.  To a large extent, which narrative prevails depends on one’s understanding of the legal basis for EPA’s actions.  Professor Herz will describe the agency’s actions and the legal issues that surround them and touch on the complicated relations between Congress, the White House, the agency, and the states that these regulatory efforts implicate.

Michael Herz is the Arthur Kaplan Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law.  He came to Cardozo after several years as an attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund. Previously, he clerked for Associate Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Levin H. Campbell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  Professor Herz was Cardozo's Vice Dean from 2006 to 2009 and served as Senior Associate Dean from 1996 to 2000; he is currently the co-director of Cardozo's Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy.  He has been a visiting professor at New York University School of Law, has taught at Columbia and Princeton, and spent a year as a Fellow in Princeton's Program in Law and Public Affairs. Professor Herz is a former Chair of the ABA's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and serves as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.