U.S. Supreme Court Eliminates One Tool EPA Has To Regulate Carbon Pollution From Power Plants

In a setback to President Biden’s climate change initiatives, a 6-3 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Clean Power Plan the EPA repealed in June 2019 under the Trump Administration that had never gone into effect.

            The ruling leaves in place EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

The CPA required sweeping changes in the way the Nation’s power plants generate electricity, from coal-fired plants to natural gas and renewables, like wind and solar.

The CPA represented a major expansion of EPA’s regulatory authority, which the Supreme Court described as “unprecedented” and “unlawful.”

In finding no basis for this expansion in certain vague language of the federal Clean Air Act, the court applied the “major questions” doctrine, which requires clear and unambiguous statutory language that Congress intended to delegate decisions of such economic and political significance to any administrative agency.

The decision puts the onus back on Congress to pass major climate change legislation, which it has been unable to pass since the Democrat’s cap-and-trade bill died 12 years ago.

The “major questions” doctrine could also play an important role in other cases where the Clean Air Act is used to effect sweeping changes of major consequence to the Nation’s economy.

EMA is currently appearing as an amicus in two such cases, one in which challenges California’s authority to outlaw internal combustion engines in favor of electric vehicles.

EMA has also weighed in on attempts by cities and counties to seek billions of dollars in damages from major oil companies for the effects of climate change.

If EPA and other agencies are prevented from claiming transformative expansions of their authority, changes to laws of major magnitude must be made by Congress where enacting them is considerably more difficult.

TAP HERE for all articles in July 5 EXPRESS Update