Climate change: Supreme Court limits President Biden’s powers

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The Guardian he calls it another devastating decision by the American Supreme Court for the world. Officially it is obviously a decision valid only for the United States, but every decision that concerns environment and climate change impact on the whole world. The Supreme Court has limited the White House’s reach in energy policy. As in last week’s sentence on abortion, the division was clear: yes, the six conservative judges, against the three liberals (which become four after the just official appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson).

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The sentence affects theFederal Agency for Environmental Protection limiting their authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. For President Biden and his attempt at a green policy it is a clear defeat because it makes the transition from the industrial system based on fossil fuels to renewable energies more difficult.

The chief judge, John Roberts, explained the court’s decision: he held that the EPA “did not have the powers to regulate the emission standards of existing power plants: because a decision of this magnitude and consequence is up to the Congress“. Except that Congress tends not to have a sufficient majority to change divisive rules like this. Against the three judges brought by the Democrats who instead consider this among the powers of the government as early as the Clean Air Act, a law of 1963.


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The ruling concerns a directive dated seven years ago by which the EPA had imposed limitations on the production and financing of alternative forms of energy on coal-fired power plants. This directive had already been challenged by the conservative front and the industries involved. It is certainly a victory for companies that use fossil fuels and a defeat for Biden: it is difficult to think of achieving zero emissions by 2050.

“This is another devastating decision of the Court, which aims to turn our country back,” explained a White House official in a note, reported by the Cnn“Although the court’s decision risks damaging our ability to keep our air clean and fight climate change, President Biden will not give in to using the authority he has by law to protect the public health and tackle the crisis of climate change ”.

The leaders of the agency said they already had the tools to circumvent the ruling with new rules requiring plants to cut polluting emissions from smoke and stop toxic contamination from fine particles in drinking water. It is now difficult to directly regulate the limits allowed for the issuance of carbon dioxide.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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