WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled the environmental protection agency doesn’t have the power to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.
“For many years, we’ve argued the EPA only had a narrow bit of authority to regulate carbon emissions,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said.
Morrisey led the fight against the EPA’s use of the Clean Air Act.
“Regardless of where you are on the issue of climate change, it’s important to play by the rules,” Morrisey said.
With this decision, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) says the Biden administration can’t enforce as many of the regulations they want to combat climate change.
“The administrations are overstepping their boundaries. They cannot make rules where congress has not offered their opinion,” Capito said.
Democrats say this decision puts more pressure on using the reconciliation process to pass climate change legislation, but Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is not optimistic.
“I’ve made it very clear that I’m a skeptic when it comes to reconciliation,” Durbin said.
“It’s going to be harder and harder for agencies to provide the kind of protections for public health, public safety, environment, that I think Congress wanted it to take,” George Washington University Environmental Law Professor Robert Glicksman said.
Glicksman says this ruling means all government agencies will have more limited power to regulate, which means the court is telling congress, “if you want to address climate change and EPA regulations, get your act together.”
Glicksman says the responsibility to get these kinds of changes across the finish line, now falls on congress.
In a statement from President Joe Biden, he said “I have directed my legal team to work with the department of justice and affected agencies to review this decision carefully and find ways that we can, under federal law, continue protecting Americans from harmful pollution, including pollution that causes climate change.”