warm thoughts


Written on: June 30, 2024

On Friday, National Propane Gas Association President & CEO Steve Kaminski highlighted a major win for the propane industry sharply limiting the power of regulatory agencies to interpret Congressional statutes. His message on LinkedIn is here:

Groundbreaking Supreme Court Decision Sharply Limits the Power of Federal Regulatory Agencies

In a major decision Friday, July 28, 2024, the United States Supreme Court sharply limited the power of federal regulatory agencies to interpret Congressional statutes, finding that courts may not defer to an agency’s interpretation of the law simply because a statute is ambiguous. In doing so, the 6-3 Supreme Court majority overruled the Chevron case and decades-old legal precedent that required courts to defer to the expertise of federal administrators in carrying out laws passed by Congress. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the former framework was “unworkable” and allowed federal agencies to change course even without direction from Congress.

This decision will spur extensive legal challenges to regulations issued by federal agencies. Going forward, the Supreme Court’s decision will only afford federal agencies a diminished level of deference by courts in an agency’s interpretation of laws, where courts will only follow agency interpretation after independently evaluating an agency’s thoroughness, validity, and consistency in interpreting statutes.

The propane industry is governed by an extensive network of federal agencies whose regulations will be impacted by this ruling. NPGA’s legal and regulatory team will continue to analyze the decision and its impact on our industry and the regulations that govern it.

Cliffs Notes: I expect this decision to be very favorable for the industry.