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McCoy Elkhorn Coal Corp. v. EPA

Citation: 9 ELR 20545
No. No. 79-9, 13 ERC 1025/(E.D. Ky., 05/07/1979)

Section 125 of the Clean Air Act, under which major air pollution sources can be required to use local coal in order to minimize local economic disruption, is not unconstitutional under either the Commerce Clause or the Fifth Amendment.Although this provision treats differently persons within and without a geographic region, the Fifth Amendment's implicit guarantee of equal protection is not violated since the distinction is made on an economic basis and bears a reasonable relationship to the valid congressional purpose of relieving economic depression in certain coal producing regions. No suspect classification subject to strict scrutiny is involved. The Commerce Clause argument fails for the same reasons: as long as a rational nexus exists, Congress may protect some local industries at the expense of others. Corporate claims that severe economic hardship will result from implementation of § 125 must be addressed to the political process, and not the judiciary, for remedy.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Donald H. Vish
McCoy Elkhorn Coal Corp.
465 E. High St., Lexington KY 40508
(606) 269-2754

Counsel for Defendant
Patrick H. Molloy, U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1490, Lexington KY 40591
(606) 233-2661