Republicans and Democrats are split over a decision by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) that greatly limits the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon emissions.
While Republicans have painted the decision as a victory over unelected bureaucrats, Democrats are sounding the alarm about the environmental toll that they say the decision could have.
The Supreme Court ruled 6–3 on June 30 that the Clean Air Act does not give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) widespread power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, which are considered the cause of global warming under the theory of manmade climate change.
While “capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,’” Roberts wrote, quoting a 1992 precedent, “it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme in Section 111(d)” of the Clean Air Act.
“A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body,” he wrote.
Republicans Declare VictoryRepublicans quickly applauded the decision as a victory over the EPA’s seizure of power outside the scope of congressionally-approved laws and as a victory for American energy.
“This is a strong rebuke of unelected bureaucrats in the swamp and the administrative state,” Cruz wrote. “We can have a clean environment and affordable energy through innovation and competition, not through executive overreach and burdensome government regulation.”
“SCOTUS' decision today rightfully reins in unreasonable and unlawful attempts to shut down American power plants and energy production,” Barrasso wrote. “For years Democrats have used overreaching EPA regulations to side-step Congress and the American people to enact their extreme climate agenda.”
Democrats UnhappyDemocrats, however, were less sanguine, and predicted that dire consequences will come from the decision. Coming in the wake of the SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats were quick to decry the court itself as “radical.”
“The Court has acted to erase reproductive health freedom, flood our public places with more deadly weapons & now, to let our planet burn.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also took to Twitter to blast the decision.
“I’m outraged that the Court put business interests above the future of our families and our planet,” she added.
Even former President Barack Obama commented on the decision.
“The 6-3 decision strikes a blow to the EPA’s authority to regulate power plant emissions—paving the way to dismantle some of the most impactful provisions of the Clean Air Act and limit our ability to reduce carbon pollution.”