Supreme Court Denies Broad EPA Authority To Regulate Greenhouse Gases

Chief Justice Roberts Writes for a Six-Justice Majority in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

WASHINGTON DC (06/30/2022) – Today, the Supreme Court decided West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the Court’s opinion concluding that the EPA lacks broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act.

AEA Director of Policy and Federal Affairs Kenny Stein issued the following statement:

“The Court’s decision today merely confirms what AEA and other critics of the Clean Power Plan have long pointed out: prior to the Obama administration, section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act had never been construed to grant EPA the power to remake the nation’s electricity system. The 2015 ‘discovery’ of this vast power was clearly an attempt to rewrite the CAA to give EPA the power that Congress had declined to give it. The Court correctly notes that vast regulatory authority must be expressly given by the people’s representatives in Congress. The Biden administration should take this message to heart and abandon its ‘whole of government’ regulatory adventurism.”

AEA President Tom Pyle issued the following statement:

“From the start, the Clean Power Plan was all about the administrative state waging war on reliable and affordable energy sources. The Court’s decision today makes it clear that the EPA, as well as other regulatory agencies, do not have sweeping authority to reorder the entire U.S. power sector under the Clean Air Act.

This decision is also critical for democracy. Congress, as the People’s democratically elected representatives, needs to authorize regulatory agencies to act. If President Biden wants EPA to act on climate, then it is time for President Biden to craft a plan and have Congress vote on it. Now, the American people can decide this issue through their elected representatives in Congress, as the Constitution envisioned.”

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