The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday imposed limits on the federal government’s authority to issue comprehensive regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in a ruling outlining President Joe Biden’s plans to tackle climate change. will undermine.
The 6-3 court limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal and gas-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act’s anti-pollution law. The Biden administration is currently working on new regulations.
The six conservatives of the court were in the majority in the decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, with the three Liberals dissenting.
The ruling is likely to have repercussions outside the EPA, as it raises new legal questions about all major decisions made by federal agencies. The Conservative majority of the Supreme Court has repeatedly expressed skepticism against extended federal regulatory authority. Conservative legal activists have long advocated reducing bureaucracy in what has been called a “war against the ruling state.”
The judges overturned a 2021 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that defeated former Republican President Donald Trump’s rule of Affordable Clean Energy. That regulation, which the Biden administration has said it does not intend to maintain, would impose limits on a Clean Air Act provision called Section 111 that would allow the EPA authority to regulate emissions from existing power plants.
The ruling was based on what the legal doctrine calls “big questions” that require explicit congressional authorization for action on issues of broad importance and social impact. The courts in January embraced that theory when they blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test policy for larger companies, a key element of their plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision will limit the EPA’s ability to issue all regulations on power plants that push for an ambitious national shift in energy policy towards sustainable resources. As such, the ruling would limit the Biden administration’s ability to curb energy sector emissions – representing about a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gases.
Roberts wrote that while limiting carbon emissions to a level that would force a nationwide energy transition, a sensible policy solution could be “it is not acceptable that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt such a regulatory scheme on its own.”
Written in dissent, Liberal judge Elena Kagan said the court had chosen to suspend Biden’s climate agenda before the administration itself issued its rule
“The boundaries that the majority now sets are flying on EPA’s authority
in the face of the statutes, Congress wrote, “Kagan added. In doing so, the court escapes” EPA from the power needed – and the power given – to curb greenhouse gas emissions. “
On the broader scope of the ruling, Kagan said the court has a clear goal: “Prevent agencies from doing important work, even if that’s what Congress addressed.”
REPUBLICAN LED STATES
The case was central to Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule intended to impose limits on a Clean Air Act provision called Section 111 that empowers the EPA authority to regulate emissions from existing power plants.
A group of U.S. states led by Republicans led by large coal producer West Virginia has asked the judiciary to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. Other challengers included coal companies and coal-friendly industry groups. Coal is one of the most greenhouse gas-intensive fuels.
Democratically led by states and major power companies including Consolidated Edison Inc (ED.N)Exelon Corp (EXC.O) and PG&E Corp (PCG.N) sided with Biden’s administration, as did the Edison Electric Institute, an investor-owned trading group.
The Biden administration wants the U.S. energy sector to be decarbonized by 2035. The United States, behind only China in greenhouse gases, is a pivotal player in efforts to combat global climate change.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, blew the court’s ruling, comparing it to last week’s “dangerously misguided and heinous decisions” on ending the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion and extending it of gun rights.
Like those two statements, Schumer said Thursday’s decision would “cause more needless deaths – in this case because of more pollution that will exacerbate the climate crisis and make our air and water less clean and safe.”
Senator Kevin Cramer, a Republican, praised the decision, saying, “Today’s ruling never confirms to Congress that the federal government will regulate greenhouse gas emissions for the states.”
The United Nations on 28 February, the same day as the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the case, published a 3,675-page report calling for global action to combat climate change.
The rule proposed by Trump, a supporter of the U.S. coal industry that also called into question the science of climate change, was intended to replace Democratic former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan that would greatly reduce carbon emissions from the energy sector is committed.
The Supreme Court blocked the implementation of Clean Power Plan in 2016 without ruling on its legality.
The decision was issued on the last day of rulings for the current nine-month term of the court.
US Supreme Court restricts federal power to limit carbon emissions – SABC News
Source link US Supreme Court restricts federal power to limit carbon emissions – SABC News