UCLA School of Law Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment,

Evan Frankel Environmental Law & Policy Program, and

Journal of Environmental Law & Policy

present a public symposium:

Perspectives on Climate Change, Pollution, and the Clean Air Act

April 15, 2011


In Los Angeles and across the United States, the Clean Air Act and other air-quality laws have helped to reduce conventional air pollution. Regulators are now beginning to use the Clean Air Act’s regulatory tools to address the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, now that Congress has failed to enact new climate change legislation and the future prospects for such legislation appear dim. This conference examines the relationship between Clean Air Act regulation and climate change, from several perspectives—legal, political, principled, and practical.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s subsequent finding that greenhouse gases cause or contribute to endangerment of public health and welfare, EPA has taken important steps to regulate greenhouse gases. In doing so, it has faced difficult choices about how best to use its authority. It has also faced threats from legislators of both major parties to take away this authority entirely if EPA regulates greenhouse gases too aggressively. This conference will address current and future climate change regulatory initiatives under the Clean Air Act, and the interaction between climate change and the regulation of traditional air pollutants.

9:15-9:45: Registration 

9:45: Welcome & Opening Remarks

10:00-11:30: Panel 1 – EPA’s approach to climate change under the Clean Air Act: Where we are and how we got here


This panel will explore EPA’s attempts to regulate greenhouse gases, including legal and political challenges to these efforts. What has EPA’s approach been, to date, in regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act? What important decisions has it already made, and were those decisions the right ones? How are its headline-making stationary source efforts faring legally, politically and practically? How significant are the threats by lawmakers to limit its authority?

11:45-1:00: Lunch: Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy​, Assistant Administrator, Air & Radiation, United States Environmental Protection Agency

1:15-2:45: Panel 2 – Further views on the Clean Air Act’s role in addressing greenhouse gases


This panel will address EPA’s future GHG regulatory initiatives. Is EPA’s CAA regulation going in the right direction so far? What more, or less, should the agency be doing? What does this mean for future legislation or litigation?

3:00-4:45: Panel 3 – Losing or gaining ground? The relationship between climate change and traditional air pollutant regulation under the Clean Air Act


There is increasing evidence that climate change will exacerbate pollution problems from some pollutants that have long been regulated under the Clean Air Act. And in some contexts, particular regulatory initiatives designed to combat climate change may have the potential to exacerbate pollution problems. This panel will examine how climate change, and regulation to address climate change, interact with traditional pollution problems, and the Clean Air Act’s potential to deal effectively with conventional pollution in light of climate change’s impacts.

Symposium sponsored by Morrison & Foerster Cleantech Group