NYT op ed by William W. Buzbee, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center:
Fortunately, law and reality constrain presidents and agency heads. So do deeply ingrained federalism traditions that leave room for state leadership on the environment. Collectively, law, reality and regulatory choices by states would create a bulwark against abrupt changes by Mr. Pruitt and the president. Wholesale regulatory rollbacks by presidential fiat are difficult to accomplish. Radical change would probably require Congress to amend long-enduring environmental statutes.
Regulatory reversals lacking a legal or factual basis would result in lawsuits by citizens, states and industries supporting the regulations. Challengers would argue that the rules are rooted in statutory language, court precedents and in careful documentation of environmental, technological and market facts. On the climate, for example, three Supreme Court decisions established that federal climate action is required by the Clean Air Act’s broad language; and the E.P.A. then, via another rule upheld by the judiciary, documented substantial climate risks.