flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

High Court EPA Ruling Has Wider Ramifications for Regulations' Reach

billboard - default

High Court EPA Ruling Has Wider Ramifications for Regulations' Reach

NAHB Policy Briefing: Wider ramifications of Supreme Court's EPA ruling; number of Hispanic workers in construction is on the rise

By National Association of Home Builders August 4, 2022
Cement plant producing carbon emissions
In a 6-3 majority led by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court voted to restrict the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions, stating that the EPA exceeded the authority of the Clean Air Act. | Photo: Cement plant by Flickr user abarndweller (CC BY-SA 2.0)
This article first appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of Pro Builder.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency could significantly affect federal agencies’ ability to expand regulations beyond the authority granted by Congress. In a 6-3 majority led by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court voted to restrict the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions, stating that the EPA exceeded the authority of the Clean Air Act when it promulgated the Clean Power Plan (CPP) during the Obama administration.

The decision’s main relevance for the National Association of Home Builders is its discussion of the “major questions doctrine,” an administrative law principle, which holds that unless Congress has clearly stated its intent for a federal agency to exercise its authority to regulate an issue, courts must reject the agency’s approach. In this case, the Court said the EPA asserted “highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted.”


The Supreme Court’s application of the doctrine in this case will help NAHB’s advocacy on behalf of its members in circumstances where an agency attempts to create new regulatory programs that depart significantly from statute. In its original form, the CPP contained provisions that would provide incentives for adopting stringent energy efficiency building codes for new construction. But the original never went into effect, with most deadlines and goals met through market forces.

It was already unlikely the Biden administration would bring back the original CPP, but the Supreme Court’s ruling cements that outcome, ensuring the EPA will not be able to establish similar demand-side efficiency requirements.

Construction Worker Demographics: Number of Hispanic Workers Increasing

Almost one-third of the U.S. construction workforce is Hispanic, according to the Census Bureau’s 2021 Current Population Survey. Non-Hispanic Whites account for the majority of workers in the construction industry (59%), but 31.5% are Hispanic, and their numbers are growing (see chart, at right). By comparison, African Americans make up 5.9% and Asians just 1.6% of the domestic construction workforce.

During the Great Recession, the number of Hispanic construction workers declined by 20%, from 3.3 million in 2007 to 2.7 million in 2010. By 2017, the cohort recovered to roughly 3.2 million, slightly below pre-recession levels, and has since grown to a record high of 3.76 million in 2021, after a small dip during the volatile start of the pandemic.

Not surprisingly, Hispanic construction workers are concentrated in the South and West, where many Hispanics reside. In fact, 52% of the nation’s Hispanic construction workforce is concentrated in three states: Texas (834,000), California (808,000), and Florida (317,000).

Construction worker demographics chart showing number of Hispanic workers increasing
Photo: Diego Cervo / stock.adobe.com






leaderboard2 - default
Written By

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing, and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. For more, visit nahb.orgFacebook.com/NAHBhomeTwitter.com/NAHBhome

Related Stories

Single-Family Homes

Single-Family Permits Increased by 26% During March

The total number of single-family permits reached 241,311 year-to-date, with the West seeing the greatest rise

Market Data + Trends

Survey Shows Confidence Drop in Multifamily Development in Q1 2024

Current sentiment has NAHB projecting that multifamily starts will decrease by 28% during 2024 as developer activity slows

Labor + Trade Relations

Residential Building Wages Rise Again in March

Wage growth for residential building workers continued during March, but at a slower pace than during the previous month

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Home builders can maximize efficiencies gained through simplification and standardization by automating both on-site and back-office operations 

Delaware-based Schell Brothers, our 2023 Builder of the Year, brings a refreshing approach to delivering homes and measuring success with an overriding mission of happiness

NAHB Chairman's Message: In a challenging business environment for home builders, and with higher housing costs for families, the National Association of Home Builders is working to help home builders better meet the nation's housing needs

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.