SCOTUS strikes again, limits US government powers to curb greenhouse emissions

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
Washington, United States Updated: Jun 30, 2022, 09:35 PM(IST)

A majority of the judges acknowledged that limiting carbon dioxide emissions in order to move away from the power produced by coal "may be a sensible solution" to global warming. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The coal mining and coal power industries, which had been targeted for strict constraints in 2015 by the administration of then-president Barack Obama in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, gained a huge victory with the 6-3 vote

In another major blow, sharply cutting down President Joe Biden's administration's power to combat climate change the US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot issue wide limitations on greenhouse gases. Derailing Biden's plans to use the EPA to reduce emissions in order to achieve global climate targets, the court determined that the government's primary environmental agency lacked the authority to impose substantial limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants. These plants produce close to 20 per cent of the electricity used in the US. The judge concluded that while EPA had the authority to regulate specific plants, Congress had not granted it the broad authority to impose restrictions on all electricity-generating facilities.

The coal mining and coal power industries, which had been targeted for strict constraints in 2015 by the administration of then-president Barack Obama in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, gained a huge victory with the 6-3 vote.

Watch | U.S. Capitol Riots Hearing: Shocking revelations on Trump emerge before Senate Committee

It was also a triumph for conservatives who opposed government regulation of the economy.

The three-person liberal minority, however, criticised the majority for exercising authority that they claimed the EPA actually did have.

Also read | 'They are willing to let me die': Protests rock US as abortion ban takes effect in 'trigger law' states

"Today, the court strips the Environmental Protection Agency of the power Congress gave it to respond to 'the most pressing environmental challenge of our time,'" they claimed.

A majority of the judges acknowledged that limiting carbon dioxide emissions in order to move away from the power produced by coal "may be a sensible solution" to global warming.

Also read | Ahead of UN Ocean conference, mermaids call for ocean protection in Portugal climate protest

However, they claimed that the case raised "major questions" about US law and government and that the EPA would need particular legislative authorization to exercise these powers.

"It is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme," they said.

"A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body," they added.

(With inputs from agencies)

Watch WION LIVE HERE:

You can now write for wionews.com and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us here.

Read in App