SCOTUS: EPA Cannot Set Carbon Emissions Caps On Power Plants

The United States Supreme Court ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency for attempting to regulate carbon emissions from power plants when such authority rests with Congress. As the Associated Press points out, the agency has other ways to regulate power plant emissions, they will not have the same teeth as the manner the agency used until this court ruling.

However, in an article published earlier this month, Politico points out the decision not only will scale back the EPA’s authority but will also be a set back with efforts like the so-called Green New Deal. This also includes reducing the power of many regulatory agencies (aka the administrative state):

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling this month hobbling the Biden administration’s efforts to rein in greenhouse gases — but its impact could weaken Washington’s power to oversee wide swaths of American life well beyond climate change.

The upcoming decision on the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate oversight offers the conservative justices an opportunity to undermine federal regulations on a host of issues, from drug pricing and financial regulations to net neutrality. Critics of the EPA have clamored for the high court to do just that, by declaring it unlawful for federal agencies to make “major” decisions without clear authorization from Congress.

The Supreme Court and several Republican-appointed judges have invoked the same principle repeatedly during the past year to strike down a series of Biden administration responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Liberal legal scholars worry that the EPA case could yield an aggressive version of that thinking — unraveling much of the regulatory state as it has existed since the New Deal.

This is a major, needed decision that will scale back government power and it tears apart Biden’s plans with enacting environmentalist’s wishes. The fact that California, that has fully embraced so-called renewable energy sources, is now considering using fossil fuel-powered power plants in order to avoid blackouts around the Golden State speaks volumes as how unworkable or unfeasible ending the use of fossil fuels is.

PHOTO CREDIT: The U.S. Supreme Court building from the front. By Joe Ravi, CC BY-SA 3.0,