Boom: Supreme Court curtails EPA on carbon emissions from fossil fuels

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In a major ruling on its last day of session, the U.S. Supreme Court said today the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to broadly regulate carbon emissions from power plants if it doesn’t have authority granted by Congress.

The decision in West Virginia v. EPA, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, passed 6-3, with only the Leftist members of the court dissenting.

Alaska joined the lawsuit with 18 other states on behalf of West Virginia.

The majority ruled that the Clean Air Act does not give the EPA the sweeping authority it has taken starting in the Obama Administration in requiring existing coal-fired power plants to either reduce their generation of electricity or subsidize the increased generation of natural gas, wind or solar energy.

Rather, the court ruled, this authority lies with Congress.

“Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,'” Justice Roberts wrote. “But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme.”

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

Power the Future’s Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck said the ruling was correct, in that the EPA cannot act in a way not expressly given to it by Congress.

“Today’s decision tells us what we already knew, that the Biden Administration is using executive powers to usurp congressional authority and doing so illegally,” Whitbeck said. “Now maybe they can get back to the business of restoring American energy independence and reversing the all-out attacks on America’s greatest industry.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote the dissenting opinion that was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

In the dissent, the three complained the court should not even have taken the case since the Biden Administration is getting ready to issue a new rule.

Kagan wrote that the majority’s decision “rests on one claim alone: that [power] generation shifting is just too new and too big a deal for Congress to have authorized it.” She added that the “stakes here are high.” Generation shifting is a shift in electricity production from higher-emitting to lower-emitting producers. 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting. The US Supreme Court does not like the Joe Biden policies and how his Administration is ruining the economy of the country, and is being defined by moral turpitude. So rather than wait for another election cycle to hopefully correct all of the wrongs of the Biden Adminstration, the Supreme Court just stepped in and took care of business on its own. Of course, we have The Donald to thank for all of this, with his beautiful appointments to the Court.

  2. It’s about time. The Democrats have been weaponizing these agencies for decades. The EPA is a shining example of how an agency, with zero elected officials, can dictate at will the direction (and demise) of our country. The fear of rising oceans has again risen so we need to ask Obama why he’s spent millions on two palatial ocean front estates (he knows the truth).

  3. Sometimes agencies are comfortable acting without express delegated authority in other agencies also. Applying the US Constitution should always be done for the people. Thank you President Trump for carefully choosing Supreme Court appointments who give credence to the great US Constitution.

  4. It’s a shame we can’t get a Supreme court ruling on the Keystone XL and Biden continual interference in permitting of both oil drilling and refinery creation and expansion. Biden is determined to make oil and gas so expensive that he breaks the economy. Pray that we see a red landslide in November.

  5. This should also affect other arbitrary rules from federal regulators.

    Are you listening Interior Department?

  6. When I left North Dakota in 1983 my parents were both lighting and heating their home with electricity at less than a Penney a KW. This was because Valley City had its own city owned electric utility that had bought into a coal fired generating plant in Wyoming and the residents were reaping the benefit from it.It is impossible to produce electricity cheaper than thru a coal fired plant in the USA e except possibly thru hydro power which of course has a huge start up cost and environmental issue. Coal is both dirt cheap and easily obtainable. It is also fairly easy to restore the topsoil. Also the cheapest way to produce heat.

  7. OMG! We’re all gonna DIE!

    If in doubt seek out the nearest Karen but wear a mask. They spit when they spew their venom.

  8. Of course the leftist media is reporting it that the Supreme Court ruled that the planet should burn, sadly some will actually believe that is what SCOTUS ruled without ever taking the time to read the decision.

  9. At last, after more than 50 years of unfettered power grabbing, the Supreme Court has finally delivered a major blow against the Bureaucracy! Well done!

  10. By re-writing the Clean Air Act and WOTUS, the EPA gave itself astounding powers over private property (all land used to get rain, gets rain, or might get rain) and industry (control over all effluent} They also override permits given by all other federal, state, and local agencies. If Congress will not provide the oversight they are supposed to, and send the activist bureaucrats back to their eviro-groups and put the scientists back in charge, then SCOTUS is our only hope.

  11. Beyond the WV EPA case, it has far reaching implications for other agencies who love to play loose with interpreting statutes and then issuing crushing rules. Looks like these agencies will finally be reigned in with their arbitrary and capricious interpretations that have great national, economic or political implications!

    So, it has called into issue the long used, Major Question Doctrine, where congress defers to executive agencies to provide interpretations on statutes within their purview. What the decision now requires, is that if it is not expressly stated in statute, these agencies can no longer make shit up…. A big deal when it comes to what the ATF continues to pull, and has direct implications in pending legal cases.🥳😎

    The Supremes decision in the WV EPA case has now required Grant, Vacate, and Remand (GVR) orders back to lower courts for further proceedings, and those circuit courts must now apply the new laws to the cases they have pending, or had already ruled on.

    Let the lawsuits against the ATF’s draconian rulings begin!!!!!

  12. This decision is so important for our nation. Bureaucrats are always overstepping their authority, always trying to rule us by fiat without specific Congressional direction. Congress and state legislatures are often just lazy when passing laws and don’t like to be specific.

  13. “In the dissent, the three complained the court should not even have taken the case since the Biden Administration is getting ready to issue a new rule.”
    Just how nonsensical of a “rational” can that be? The far left will grasp at the stupidest excuse to have their own way.

  14. The problem is this was all obvious for years. The agencies use administrative codes to rule, congress long ago gave up on governing through legislation, rather just passes bills written by lobbyists, this is why you always hear our elected politicians say they had no time to read the (however many thousand pages each) bill before voting. Yet, even our Republican politicians never address the issue, and that is why after the pre written by lobbyist tax cut bill Trump signed, nothing else was presented by the GOP congress. The GOP simply waited out two years to hand over congress to their more powerful Democrat brethren to insure nothing meaningful happened and get onto the impeach the one man in their way priority. Alaska is run the same way, by administrative code. There are not enough vertebrae between all the members in our house and senate in Alaska to make one full backbone with. The administrators and state unions have the power and keep these politicos muzzled and on short leashes. No one ever even asks the simple question: With fall approaching in a few weeks, how exactly are all those who heat their homes with diesel going to keep their tanks filled at $6 (now) and likely $10 per gallon by this winter? In Fairbanks, the leftie geniuses abetted or at best ineffectually restrained by their fake conservative rivals, have gone after wood burning for years. All that scrub is burning with everyone’s eyes watering, but you better not heat your home to physically stay alive with the same wood causing the smoke. We need actual leaders who don’t wait for some theoretical decision by a court to make pragmatic decisions for our state and nation themselves.

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