In a major setback to President Biden’s climate change agenda, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to set standards for greenhouse gas emissions for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act.
The 6-3 majority said that while the EPA can regulate emissions from power plants, the agency cannot try to shift electricity generation from fossil fuel plants to cleaner sources, as the Obama-era Clean Power Plan tried to do.
The ruling casts serious doubt on Biden’s pledge to halve U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 and his goal of a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2035.
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The Clean Power Plan was temporarily blocked by the Supreme Court in 2016 and then withdrawn in 2019 by the Trump administration, who said the plan exceeded the authority of the EPA under the Clean Air Act.