Supreme Court limits Biden’s power to cut emissions

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has lost some of its power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court represents a major setback to President Joe Biden’s climate plans.

He called it a “devastating decision” but said it would not undermine his effort to tackle the climate crisis.

The case against the EPA was brought by West Virginia on behalf of 18 other mostly Republican-led states and some of the nation’s largest coal companies.

They argued that the agency did not have the authority to limit emissions across whole states.

These 19 states were worried their power sectors would be forced to move away from using coal, at a severe economic cost.

In a 6-3 ruling, the court sided with the conservative states and fossil-fuel companies, agreeing that the EPA did not have the authority to impose such sweeping measures.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt for Missouri – one of the 19 states – called it a “big victory… that pushes back on the Biden EPA’s job-killing regulations”.

The court hasn’t completely prevented the EPA from making these regulations in the future – but says that Congress would have to clearly say it authorises this power. And Congress has previously rejected the EPA’s proposed carbon limiting programmes.

Environmental groups will be deeply concerned by the outcome as historically the 19 states that brought the case have made little progress on reducing their emissions – which is necessary to limit climate change.

Read more via BBC

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