The Supreme Court is expected to soon outline a case of conflict between the state of West Virginia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The consequences can be significant.
The United States with the President Joe Biden has ambitious climate goals and flamboyant speeches.
He has declared the return of the United States as an international leader in climate matters. He wants to halve the country’s emissions by the end of the decade. The United States aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.
From the point of view of these goals, the past year has been quite a nightmare.
A large investment package that would have directed billions to mitigating climate change has watered down. The rise in gasoline prices, partly due to the war in Ukraine, forced investment in fossil fuel production.
There is also a new threat to ambitious efforts.
The highest the court is expected in the next few days to outline a case between the state of west virginia and the us environmental protection.
The case concerns the possibility for the government and its agencies to impose restrictions on environmental protection.
The plaintiff is a group of the highest judicial authorities in the states representing the Republican Party. They believe that the Environmental Protection Agency should not be allowed to set emission limits, for example. They think that power should be with Congress.
The stakes are high.
If the Supreme Court agrees with the plaintiffs, it could significantly limit its ability to combat climate change. The experts are assessedthat the efforts of the Biden administration to cut emissions would be significantly hampered.
The state would be difficult for example limit car exhaust emissions or oblige electricity companies to switch from fossil to renewable energy sources.
At the same time, the policy could also affect the regulatory power of other agencies.
“This is about the future of our country. This case determines who is allowed to outline the most important issues,” Patrick Morrissey described earlier this year.
Thing has been pending for a long time.
It originated in 2015 when the president Barack Obaman the environmental protection agency published its plans to curb emissions from coal-fired power plants. The agency wanted to set strict emission limits for each state and encouraged them to switch to alternative energy sources such as wind and solar energy.
Clean Power Plan However, the entity known as CPP ran into difficulties when several lawsuits were filed against it. It never even had time to take effect.
This did not make the coal industry and the states that relied on it give up lawsuits. Last year, lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court to take the matter to court. The case was built by the CPP and the president Donald Trumpin around a similar but more lenient policy.
The Biden administration has apparently emphasized, partly in fear of the Supreme Court, that it has no intention of reviving the CPP.
“They buried it and told the court it was gone,” a Harvard University professor of environmental law Richard Lazarus said radio company NPR.
But the Supreme Court still took the case to court.
According to experts, this is an exceptional case, as there is no valid Environmental Protection Agency policy on emissions from power plants. The applicants therefore seek to prevent any future rules.
“Usually rights evaluate the rules in place, and now there are no rules to evaluate,” a professor of law at the University of New York. Ricky Revesz estimates To CNN in February. “Whatever the law does, it involves speculation, and the rights do not normally give advisory statements. That is not the job of the court. ”
The highest court decisions are prepared in secret. However, there are in the US media speculated possible outcomes.
The court could dismiss the case. The right could also retain some form of regulatory power over the Environment Agency, but limit it. The most radical option would be a broad policy of transferring power from federal agencies to Congress.
This would be the desire and goal of Republican lawyers and their allies, for which they have worked for years. There are several ongoing environmental lawsuits in various federal courts that could be reported by The New York Times by described as precise strikes against the regulatory power of the state from different angles.
Deputy Director of the University of New York School of Law Sally Katzen estimates to the newspaper that a victory in the Supreme Court would be only a foretaste of what is promised.
“I don’t think this is the culmination of their agenda. This is just the beginning. ”
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