Connect with us

Legal

SCOTUS Rules Against EPA In Climate Change Case

Published

on

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in West Virginia v. The Environmental Protection Agency that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have the power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants because it was not specifically granted that power by Congress.

“The Supreme Court sharply curtails the authority of the EPA to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change,” SCOTUSblog tweeted. “In a 6-3 ruling, the court sides with conservative states and fossil-fuel companies in adopting a narrow reading of the Clean Air Act.”

The Supreme Court ruled that “Congress did not grant the Environmental Protection Agency in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act the authority to devise emissions caps based on the generation shifting approach the agency took in the Clean Power Plan,” SCOTUSblog explained, adding that the “dispute began in 2015 with the Obama administration’s adoption of the Clean Power Plan, a rule that sought to combat climate change by reducing carbon pollution from power plants. The plan never went into effect, however: Several states and private plaintiffs challenged it in federal court, and a divided Supreme Court put it on hold in February 2016.”

The former Trump administration’s EPA repealed the Clean Power Plan in 2019 and replaced it with the more lenient Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE Rule).

In January 2021, “the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, vacated the ACE Rule, and sent the issue back to the EPA for more proceedings. The Supreme Court then granted a request by Republican-led states and coal companies to review that ruling; meanwhile, the Biden administration EPA has indicated that it will not reinstate the Clean Power Plan and is instead drafting its own rules on greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants,” SCOTUSblog wrote.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority decision for the Court and was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch. The three leftist judges dissented.

“Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,” Roberts wrote. “But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme in Section 111(d). A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is reversed, and the cases are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Leo's Hot List