What was the ruling?
The decision says the EPA’s actions in the 2015 rule, which included limits on emissions from power plants, exceeded the agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
“Limiting carbon emissions to a level that will force a national shift from using coal to generating electricity could be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,'” the decision said, “but it’s unlikely that Congress has given the EPA the power to adopt such a regulatory scheme.” .
Only Congress has the right to make “a decision of this magnitude and consequences,” he continues.
That decision is likely to have “broad implications,” says Deborah Sivas, a professor of environmental law at Stanford University. She adds that not only is the court limiting what the EPA can do on climate policy. This view “seems to be a serious blow to the agency’s respectability,” meaning that agencies outside the EPA may face restrictions in the future.
This ruling, which is the latest in a series of bomb blast lawsuits, was largely in line with the ideological line. Chief Justice John Roberts was the author of the majority opinion, and was joined by Conservatives, including Judges Samuel Alita, Amy Connie Barrett, Neil Gorsach, Brett Cavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. Judges Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Satamayor disagreed.
What is the decision here?
The main question in this case was how much power the EPA should have to regulate carbon emissions and what it needs to be allowed to do to do the job. This issue was raised by an EPA regulation from 2015 called the Clean Energy Plan.
The clean electricity plan was aimed at emitting greenhouse gases from power plants, requiring each state to draw up a plan to reduce emissions and submit it to the federal government.
Several states and private groups immediately challenged the clean electricity plan when it was published, arguing it was excessive action by the agency, and the Supreme Court postponed it in 2016. Following the repeal of the plan during Donald Trump’s presidency and some laws onwards, the Washington District Court ruled in January 2021 that the clean electricity plan did fall under the powers of the EPA.