Supreme Court restricts EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants

Washington- The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a decision that could hinder the Biden administration’s efforts to fight climate change.

The court split 6-3 along ideological lines, finding that Congress did not grant the EPA the power under a Clean Air Act provision to set emissions limits. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, while the court’s three-member Liberal bloc disagreed.

The decision is a victory for a group of Republican-led states and coal companies in their long-standing effort to curtail the EPA’s power to issue regulations to curb carbon emissions.

The case stems from the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, completed in 2015, which implemented a directive from then-President Barack Obama to use an additional provision of the Clear Air Act to address climate change by imposing mandates on existing coal and natural gas plants to reduce emissions.

More than half of states and other parties challenged the Clean Power Plan in federal court and the Supreme Court in 2016 ceased enforcement of the proposal by 5-4 votes. As the proceedings continued, there was a change in presidential administrations and the EPA under then-President Donald Trump Obama-era standards repealed after finding that it “significantly exceeded” its jurisdiction under federal environmental law. The desk too new guidelines rolled out for coal-fired power stations.

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