Regulators in government agencies have been able to stifle industry with the flick of a pen. Now the Supreme Court has taken a case that could limit those powers.
The high court will hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s limitations on greenhouse emissions from powerplants, the Washington Examiner reported. Emissions standards enforced under the Clean Air Act are threatening to hobble the coal industry and the states that depend on it.
The suit will combine the interests of coal companies and 20 states to determine whether the EPA has the power to enforce “performance standards” on power plants. It will also tackle the broader issue of whether legislation “clearly authorizes EPA to decide such matters of vast economic and political significance as whether and how to restructure the nation’s energy system.”
Former President Donald Trump had attempted to rein in the power of the EPA through the Affordable Clean Energy rule. However, a challenge in January in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the Trump-era provision leading to the filing of many separate petitions that have been bundled into one challenge at the Supreme Court.
West Virginia’s petition likened the lower court’s decision to finding that a “rarely used, ancillary provision of the Clean Air Act grants an agency unbridled power — functionally ‘no limits’ — to decide whether and how to decarbonize almost any sector of the economy.” Indeed it does just that as the EPA is given the power to “to prescribe a plan for a State in cases where the State fails to submit a satisfactory plan.”
This decision was handed down Friday just as President Joe Biden embarks on a European trip that will include a climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the Associated Press reported. Though Trump did much to roll back the radical climate change agenda including withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, Biden has made fighting climate change a top priority.
Despite the problems facing America right now with inflation, supply chain disruptions, COVID-19 panic, and saber-rattling from China, Biden has proposed $1.75 trillion in spending to fight climate change, according to NBC News. Most of these initiatives throw taxpayer dollars down a bottomless pit with little return on such a large investment — coupled with powerful agencies to do as they please, it’s bad for America.
Government agencies make regulations that have a profound impact on many industries with them but have little accountability. A court ruling in favor of fewer regulations and regulatory power is exactly what’s needed to keep America’s coal plants online.