The Supreme Court Agreed to Consider the EPA’s Authority to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Posted by Grace Duffy.

The Supreme Court has recently decided to consider the Environmental Protection agency’s (EPA) authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions. West Virginia leads the legal battle against the EPA in defense of coal companies and energy producing states. The Supreme Court will consider if the EPA is “going too far” with their plan to regulate and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of energy companies. The coal companies and energy producing states are appealing a lower court’s ruling which restored some of the power and authority EPA lost during Trump’s administration.

The lawsuit led by West Virginia argued that Congress did not give the EPA the authority they claim to have. The coal companies and energy producing states said the greenhouse gas restrictions the EPA wants to impose are impossible for a power plant to uphold. Power plants burn coal and natural gas to create energy, so they naturally produce a lot of greenhouse gases. However, the lower court ruled in the EPA’s favor. The Plaintiffs say this ruling gives the EPA power to excessively restrict other sources of greenhouse gases such as factories, hospitals, hotels, and even homes. They state that giving this power to the EPA will have “tremendous costs and consequences for all Americans.”

The Clean Air Act is also involved in this case. The Clean Air Act states that the EPA must find the “best system of emissions reduction” for the current pollution sources and that they must work with states to come up with a pollution control plan. Biden’s Administration did not want the Supreme Court to consider this appeal. The Supreme Court’s decision may make it tougher for Biden’s Administration to impose stricter greenhouse gas emission regulations. These stricter regulations on greenhouse gases would help the U.S. solve the issue of climate change by moving electricity production away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case this spring with a decision possibly made by June.

Grace is majoring in accounting at Seton Hall University, Stillman School of Business, Class of 2023.