Home WORLD AMERICA Supreme Court Limits Washington’s Efforts to Tackle GHG Emissions

Supreme Court Limits Washington’s Efforts to Tackle GHG Emissions


The high court found that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not enact general rules to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants, which produce nearly 20% of electricity in the United States.

The White House immediately denounced a decision devastating and called on Congress to put America on the path to a cleaner, safer energy future.

The judgment was adopted by the six conservative magistrates of the Court.

EPA the authority to adopt such a measure”,”text”:”Put a limit on carbon dioxide emissions at a level that would require a national renunciation of coal to generate electricity could be a relevant solution to the crisis of today. But it is not credible that Congress gave the EPA the authority to pass such a measure”}}”>Putting a limit on carbon dioxide emissions at a level that would require a nationwide move away from coal to produce electricity could be a relevant solution to today’s crisis. But it is not credible that Congress gave theEPA the authority to adopt such a measurewrote Judge John Roberts on their behalf.

But their three progressive colleagues dissociated themselves from a decision judged scary. Court has stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of the power Congress gave it to address ‘the most pressing issue of our time’writes Judge Elena Kagan, recalling that the six hottest years have been recorded in the last decade.

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Hailed by conservatives, decried by Democrats

Reflecting the divisions of American society on environmental issues, the decision was immediately welcomed by the Republican Party, hostile to any federal regulation and defender of fossil fuels.

Today, the Supreme Court returns power to the peopleestimated its leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, blaming Democratic President Joe Biden to wage a war against affordable energy despite inflation.

But Democrats, like young elected official Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, judged the decision catastrophic.

Our planet is on fire and this extremist Supreme Court is destroying the ability of the federal power to fightadded Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Appalled, environmental defense organizations highlighted the gap with the rest of the world. The decision threatens the United States with being relegated far behind our international partners who are accelerating efforts to meet their climate commitmentsunderlined Nathaniel Keohane, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

After the about-face on abortion last week, this judgment represents a new change of foot at the Supreme Court.

Trump’s footprint

In 2007, it had decided by a narrow majority that theEPA was competent to regulate the emissions of gases responsible for global warming, in the same way that it is charged by a law of the 1960s with limiting air pollution.

But since then, former Republican President Donald Trump, a climatosceptic hostile to any restrictive measure for the industry, has brought three magistrates into the temple of American law, cementing his conservative majority.

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Beyond theEPAtheir decision could limit the efforts of all federal regulatory agencies, including Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA).

Majority said agencies can’t take meaningful action to meet their goals, no matter how high the stakesexplained to theAFP environmental law professor Robert Percival, University of Maryland.

She insists these agencies get ‘clear authorization from Congress,’ but she knows Congress is extremely dysfunctionaladds Richard Lazarus, professor at Harvard.

Given the fractures between elected officials, hoping for the adoption of a climate law seems indeed a wishful thinking.

Concretely, the file at the heart of the decision finds its source in an ambitious plan adopted in 2015 by Barack Obama to reduce CO2 emissions. This Clean Power Planthe implementation of which fell to theEPAhad been blocked before entering into force.

In 2019, Donald Trump published his own rule for affordable clean energylimiting the field of action of theEPA within each electricity production site, without allowing it to remodel the entire network.

A federal court having invalidated this draft, several conservative states and the coal industry asked the Supreme Court to intervene and clarify the powers of theEPA.

The government of Democrat Joe Biden had let it be known that it did not intend to resurrect Barack Obama’s plan and had asked the High Court to declare the file obsolete to avoid a decision with harmful consequences. His bet failed.

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