Court Decision Leaves Biden With Few Tools To Combat Climate Change

After a Supreme Court decision on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency will have less authority to limit carbon dioxide from power plants, a major source in this country of the pollution that is dangerously heating the planet. It’s one in a series of setbacks for Mr. Biden, who came into office with the most ambitious climate agenda of any president, pledging to the rest of the world that the United States, the world’s largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases, would cut that pollution in half by the end of the decade. Some experts say that after the Supreme Court’s decision in the case, West Virginia v. E.P.A., it will soon be mathematically impossible for Mr. Biden to meet his goals. The Supreme Court ruling left intact the E.P.A.’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions but blocked any attempt by the agency to write regulations so broad that they force the closure of coal-fired plants, which generate the most carbon dioxide, or compel utilities to switch from fossil fuels to wind, solar and other clean sources. The E.P.A. still plans to issue tougher regulations to control methane, a potent greenhouse gas that leaks from oil and gas wells. Congress in the coming weeks could still pass a scaled-back version of the spending bill that has been stalled on Capitol Hill for months. Stalled action on the federal level puts a spotlight on dozens of states that are moving ahead with their own climate plans. But those state-level tools are also in the sights of many of the same Republican attorneys general who brought the power plant case to the Supreme Court. 

By Coral Davenport. New York Times. June 30, 2022.

Read article here: