US Supreme Court goes against President Biden's climate policy

US Supreme Court goes against President Biden’s climate policy

The Supreme Court in Washington, DCGetty Images

The Supreme Court voted six to three against the current law, which gives the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum control of emissions from power plants across the country. This law was intended primarily to reduce carbon dioxide2Emissions from coal-fired plants, which provide about 20 percent of US electricity, in an effort to combat climate change.

Senior justices say the EPA should not impose restrictions on power plants without congressional approval. According to the Supreme Court, decisions of “economic and political importance” should not be in the hands of an executive organization.

The ruling is a major blow to the Biden government’s ambitious climate plans. For example, the president is currently working on new laws that would make the energy sector completely zero-emissions by 2035. That goal appears nearly impossible to achieve now that the environmental agency’s options have been severely curtailed.

The most polluted countries

The case was brought by 19 states and some of the largest US fossil fuel companies. The plaintiffs disagreed with former President Barack Obama’s greenhouse gas regulation, arguing that the environmental agency could not restrict the entire state’s energy sector. States feared, among other things, that they would have to shut down coal-fired power plants.

States that do not agree to the regulations are among the most polluting countries in the United States. Together, they make up 44 percent of all emissions in the country and have done little to reduce it in recent years.

Since countries now have less incentive to commit to Biden’s climate goals, it will likely become more difficult for the United States to achieve international climate goals. President Biden just signed a decree on his first day in the White House to return to compliance with the Paris climate agreement. His predecessor Trump withdrew from the treaty.

Other countries will follow with interest the effects of the judges’ decision. Efforts by the United States, which is responsible for 14 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, have prompted many other industrialized countries to start reducing emissions as well.

pronunciation of “the destroyer”

A White House spokesman described the judges’ ruling as “devastating.” “President Biden will not hesitate to use his powers to protect public health and address the climate crisis.” UN climate envoy Michael Bloomberg denounced the chief justice’s decision. He said the decision “will cost American lives and cause an enormous amount of avoidable suffering.”

The ruling fits the pattern of a conservative majority in the Supreme Court standing in the way of Democratic President Biden. Last week, top judges overturned the federal right to abortion, potentially making it illegal in half of US states.

Biden said earlier Thursday that he still wanted to try to enshrine the right to abortion across the United States. He would prefer an exception to the rules in the US Senate to pass a law that would bring back federal law. The question is whether this will work, because the Democrats have only a slim majority and there is a split within the party over whether an exception to the rules is legitimate.

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