Michael Reaves

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This Comment calls for action to quiet the Quartet—encouraging executive agencies to mitigate the pernicious impact of MQD. In Part I, this Comment discusses the political landscape in the area of climate action. Part II wades through the nearly forty-year doctrinal shift of delegation—from humble beginnings in a law review article from then-Judge Breyer in 1986, to the application of major questions principles at various stages of agency-deference analyses. Part III discusses the Quartet and its role in MQD as a determinative legal canon. Recent scholarship calls into question if there are multiple iterations of MQD, and whether the most recent iteration of MQD is merely a doctrinal bridge or “fig leaf” to the non-delegation doctrine. In Part IV, this Comment addresses the current status of agency rulemaking in the face of the uncertainty of MQD’s evolving form. Developing an action plan to mitigate harm to the environment requires consideration of how lower courts may reconcile the competing doctrines of Chevron and MQD. This Comment submits that SCOTUS’ posture in the mid-2020s will be formative in the law of statutory interpretation for generations to come. In light of the rapid shift in the form of MQD in just a few years, and the inability of Congress to achieve meaningful legislative, actions within the executive branch must be taken to mitigate the Quartet’s pernicious impact on the environment and public health. Achievable executive strategies include: (1) streamlining the rulemaking process by promulgating leaner rules; (2) repealing or narrowing the scope of EO 12866 to expedite regulatory review and avoid bolstering the legal arguments of anti-regulatory interests; (3) increasing the use of severability clauses to protect bulky regulatory schemes from complete vacatur; and (4) empowering enforcement offices to better protect the environment from the ravages of climate change.