Leading Small Business Legal Center to SCOTUS: Stop states from regulating outside of their borders

Date: November 16, 2015

Related Content: Press Release Energy National

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
backs energy legal group in Supreme Court Case

Washington D.C.
(November 16, 2015)
– Late last week, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business
Legal Center
filed a brief in a case that threatens competitive interstate
commerce and could allow states to regulate outside of their borders,
circumventing the federal government’s prerogative to impose national
standards.

“States like Colorado, California and Minnesota have begun
imposing regulatory burdens on energy producers both within and outside of
their respective states,” said NFIB
Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned
. “These states
think this approach to regulation is necessary to combat the global problem of
greenhouse gas emissions, but the Constitution says that national standards
should be addressed by Congress if addressed at all.”

At question in the case of Energy and Environment Legal Institute v Joshua Epel is whether
Colorado state law can require electricity generators to ensure that a certain
amount of electricity they sell to Colorado consumers comes from renewable
sources. This becomes a problem because Colorado residents receive their
electricity from a grid that serves eleven states and portions of Canada and
Mexico. EELI, and NFIB, are arguing that under the Dormant Commerce Clause this
is unconstitutional.  Because the
Constitution gives the federal government jurisdiction over interstate
commerce, a state’s power to regulate is limited to conduct occurring within
the state, or conduct that has local effects. By imposing such stringent energy
regulations, Colorado is controlling energy sources that are outside of its borders. 

NFIB is concerned a decision in favor of Colorado could have
a larger impact.

“If the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision stands,
states could very well begin to require other states and out of state businesses
to abide by their rules in order to engage in commerce,” Harned continued. “We
are urging the Supreme Court to protect and preserve competitive federalism.”    

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Related Content: Press Release | Energy | National

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