Peters Criticizes Supreme Court, Calls EPA Ruling ‘Devastating Blow’ in Climate Change Fight

U.S. Representative Scott Peters. Photo by Chris Stone
U.S. Representative Scott Peters. Photo by Chris Stone

Representative Scott PetersD-San Diego, targeted the US Supreme Court On Thursday, describing the court’s recent rulings as reflecting a “now obvious political agenda”.

In the past, he said in a statement, the court “was regarded as a just and impartial foundation of our democracy.” Judgments such as Thursday in the case of West Virginia v. EPA and the decision of 24 June that overthrew Roe vs. Wadeworries that “it may tarnish forever” the legacy of the court.

“I never imagined that the country’s highest court could cause more distrust in our government and our democracy, but here we are,” Peters said.

The former environmental lawyer issued the statement in response to the court’s decision to impose restrictions on the federal government ‘s power to pass sweeping regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

The court decision 6-3 restricted the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants under the landmark clean air law against pollution.

The decision is seen as undermining President Joe Biden’s plans to tackle climate change and could limit various services to other issues. His administration is currently working on new regulations.

The six conservatives in the court had a majority in Judge John Roberts’ ruling, with the three Liberals disagreeing.

Biden called the decision “another catastrophic decision that aims to lead our country backwards.”

“While this decision risks jeopardizing our nation’s ability to keep our air clean and fight climate change, I will not back down from using my legitimate principles to protect public health and tackle the climate crisis,” he said. Biden in statement.

The Democratic president said he had asked his legal team to work with the Department of Justice and affected agencies to review the decision and find ways under federal pollution law, including emissions that cause climate change.

Peters called the decision “a catastrophic blow to our efforts and goals in combating climate change.”

“The decision that an organization as important as the EPA can not make full use of its power to reduce carbon emissions for power plants will make it even more difficult to achieve already difficult but critical emission reductions,” he said. re-committed to passing the climate. rescue legislation in Congress. “

Representative Mike LevinD-San Juan Capistrano, whose district includes parts of Northern County, said in a statement that the decision “went up decades ago”.

“This decision is unconscious and with the launch of the Clean Air Act, the health of the planet and our people will suffer severely as a result,” Levin said. “The vast majority of Americans support action to combat the climate crisis and protect our air and water.”

The decision is likely to have implications beyond the EPA, as it raises new legal questions about any major decisions being made by federal agencies.

The court’s conservative majority has signaled skepticism about the expansive federal regulator. Conservative legal activists have long argued for a reduction in agency power in what is being called a “war on the administrative state.”

The judges overturned a 2021 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to overturn former Republican President Donald Trump’s rule of affordable clean energy.

Thursday’s decision was based on what is called the “big question” legal doctrine, which requires explicit authorization from Congress to act on issues of broad significance and social impact.

Judges appeared to embrace the theory in January when it blocked the Biden government’s larger vaccine or test policies, a key element of its plan to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The invocation of this doctrine by the court sends a message that judges will be a significant obstacle for federal agencies seeking to implement broad policies of national importance.

The decision will limit the EPA’s ability to issue any regulations for power plants pushing for an ambitious national change in energy policy towards renewables. It will therefore limit the government’s ability to reduce energy sector emissions by about a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gases.

A group of U.S. states led by Republicans led by West Virginia’s major coal producer has asked judges to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Other challengers included coal companies and carbon-friendly industrial groups.

Coal is one of the most fuel-intensive greenhouse gases.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey described the ruling as a “huge victory over federalism and the excesses of the state.”

Roberts wrote that while limiting carbon emissions to a level that would force a national energy transition could make sense, “it does not make sense for Congress to authorize the EPA to adopt such a regulatory system on its own.”

Writing in disagreement, Liberal Judge Elena Keegan noted that the court chose to bypass Biden’s climate agenda before his government even issued its rule.

“The limits now set by the majority in the EPA are facing the statute written by Congress,” Kagan said, adding that the court “deprives the EPA of the power required – and the power provided – to limit of greenhouse gas emissions “.

Kagan said the court had a clear goal: “Prevent the services from doing important work, even though it was ordered by Congress.”

States led by Democrats and major energy companies, including Consolidated Edison, Exelon Corp. and PG&E Corp. sided with Biden’s management, as did the Edison Electric Institute, an investor-owned commercial group.

Thursday’s decision was made on the last day of decisions for the court’s current nine-month term.

(Report by Lawrence Hurley and Valerie Volcovici; edited by Will Dunham)

Reuters and staff report

Peters Criticizes Supreme Court, Calls EPA Ruling ‘Devastating Blow’ in Climate Change Fight Source link Peters Criticizes Supreme Court, Calls EPA Ruling ‘Devastating Blow’ in Climate Change Fight

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