While EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson contemplates an imminent congressional deadline for avoiding potential contempt proceedings, he also may want to give thought to another new deadline stemming from his intransigent response to Mass. v. EPA, this one imposed by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Earlier this month, on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling, Massachusetts and the other plaintiffs asked the DC Circuit for a writ of mandamus that would force the EPA to issue its unreasonably-delayed endangerment finding within 60 days. Last Friday, the court issued its first direct response to that filing, ordering EPA to formally respond to the petition within 20 days.
This order should not be read as a tea leaf about the court's ultimate ruling on this matter. But the fact that the DC Circuit is expediting the case before Massachusetts could formally request it-- instead doing so "on the court's own motion"-- indicates that it's at least giving serious consideration to the petitioners' request.