The Supreme Court has decided to hear the arguments to limit the EPA’s ability to limit emissions. The outcome of the vote could make it even harder to fight climate change. Doing so would severely limit President Biden’s climate agenda.
And with a 6-3 conservative majority, the decision is likely going to be in favor of limiting the EPA’s ability. However, the case is strange in that the EPA does not currently limit emissions. Instead, the appeal is being raised in response to the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Thus at the moment, the EPA is not limiting emissions and has not stated any plans to do so in the future. With any significant climate change unlikely to pass the senate, this was one of the remaining avenues for the Biden administration to combat emissions at home.
Without stricter emission regulations, cutting the US emissions in half by 2030 will be impossible.
What Is The Basis of the Case?
In simple terms, the main argument of this case is that the CAA gave the EPA unprecedented power to reshape America’s energy sector.
The act enables the EPA to set policies in every state with the goal of reducing emissions. For states that rely on fossil fuels, it will radically reshape how the state produces energy. This power goes beyond what is acceptable under section 111.
The states also have problems with the wording of the bill. It uses statutory terms like “the requirement standards before individual sources” and “focused on their performance” which signify that congress did not approve the methods.
You may be wondering who brought the case before the supreme court, and it’s a pretty long list.
Altogether, 19 states have filed for the appeal and two major coal companies. These include The North American Coal Corporation and Westmoreland Mining Holdings LLC.
All parties involved would be severely impacted if the EPA made significant requirements for these states to follow and would ultimately put these corporations out of business. Or at the very least, significantly impact their business model.
The Supreme Court Decides How the Country Fights Climate Change
In no uncertain terms, the supreme court will have a huge impact on climate change.
While nothing is set in stone, it is very unlikely that the court will not limit the EPA. As a result, climate change policy will be undermined once again. And if that is the case, the US will have no chance at meeting the goals the Biden administration has set.
Even worse, depending on how the mid-term election goes, this may be the last few months the current admin has to pass legislation, period.
As the second biggest emitter in the world after China, significant change within the US would be a game-changer in reaching global goals. Unfortunately, things are not looking great for robust climate change legislation.
The choices made by today’s legislators will have a severe impact on future generations. Avoiding catastrophic forest fires, flooding, and extreme heat is still achievable, but only with swift action.
It’s time to listen to the science before it’s too late.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.