This week’s Supreme Court decision to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions may not have been unexpected, but it was still a bombshell. Not only did it kill the prospect of quick executive action on the matter, it potentially cut off a number of regulatory solutions.
The EPA had sought to rein in carbon emissions first through the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which had been shelved after court losses, and then through Biden administration regulations. The two Democratic administrations relied on part of the Clean Air Act that authorized the EPA administrator to use their judgment to produce a list of stationary pollution sources “which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”
Carbon emissions certainly deserve to be on the list, with climate change expected to cause nearly 5 million excess deaths annually by 2100.
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