The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in American Electric Power v.
Connecticut. The Supreme Court unanimously reversed the 2nd Circuit on the
issue of displacement, but affirmed, equally divided, on the issue of standing.
By deciding this important case on seemingly narrow grounds, the Supreme Court's
decision raised as many questions as it answered, and apparently left the door
open for future climate change lawsuits. Regardless, the decision will have
profound implications for environmental law generally, as well as for the future
of climate change policy in the United States.
McGuireWoods has prepared a white paper,
Judgment Day for Climate Change Litigation: The U.S. Supreme Court Reverses in
AEP v. Connecticut, addressing the following:
- Overview of the June 20, 2011 decision.
- Significant implications for energy companies, including:
- Impact for corporate defendants.
- Future climate change litigation.
- Possible weakening of standing and political question defenses.
- Empowerment of the EPA.
- Impact on federal common law in environmental litigation.
- Strengthening of the preemption defense.
- Possibility of future cases on these topics.