The US Supreme Court on Thursday limited the federal government’s powers to enact sweeping regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in a ruling that will undermine President Joe Biden’s plans to tackle climate change.
The court’s 6-3 ruling limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal and gas-fired power plants under the landmark anti-pollution Clean Air Act. Biden’s government is currently working on new regulations.
The Court’s six Conservatives were in the majority, while the three Liberals dissented.
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Judges reversed a 2021 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that overturned Republican former President Donald Trump’s affordable clean energy rule. This regulation would place limits on a provision of the Clean Air Act called Section 111, which gives the EPA the power to regulate emissions from existing power plants.
The conservative majority of the Supreme Court signals continued skepticism about an expansionary federal regulator.
The case revolved around Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule, which aimed to cap a Clean Air Act provision called Section 111, which gives the EPA the power to regulate emissions from existing power plants.
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A group of Republican-led states, led by major coal producer West Virginia, are asking the judiciary to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. Other challengers were coal companies and pro-coal industry groups. Coal is one of the most greenhouse gas-intensive fuels.
Democratic-run states and big energy companies, including Consolidated Edison Inc., Exelon Corp, and PG&E Corp, sided with President Joe Biden’s administration, as did the Edison Electric Institute, an investor-owned utility trading group.
The Biden administration wants the US energy sector to be decarbonized by 2035. The United States, behind only China in greenhouse gas emissions, is a key player in efforts to tackle climate change on a global scale.
The United Nations released a 3,675-page report on Feb. 28, the same day the Supreme Court heard the case, calling for global action to tackle climate change.
The rule, proposed by Trump, a US coal industry advocate who also questioned the science on climate change, was intended to replace former Democratic President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which mandates significant reductions in carbon emissions from the energy industry.
The Supreme Court blocked the implementation of the Clean Power Plan in 2016 without ruling on its legality.
The decision was issued on the final day of sentencing for the court’s current nine-month term.
https://globalnews.ca/news/8958601/u-s-supreme-court-washington-emissions-power/ US Supreme Court limits Washington’s power to cut emissions in ruling – National