Why the EPA Supreme Court Decision Matters – AMAC





By Steven W. Anderson, AMAC Action Delegate

Other recent Supreme Court rulings have garnered a lot of attention, but the EPA ruling may be the one that protects your wallet. The June 30 decision restores the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government. The ruling bars politically appointed agency administrators from moving forward with crushing free market agendas.

Most of the media coverage has focused on the issue of regulating power plant emissions and addressing climate change and focused unbalancedly on obstructing Biden’s climate agenda. However, the most important finding is that government agencies like the EPA cannot write regulations that the court found “too expansive” beyond the scope of its responsibility and authority. granted by Congress.

Biden has used a “whole of government” concept (all executive branch agencies) to focus on issues they consider important. The court rightly referenced the overreach of another executive branch agency when OSHA attempted to demand a vaccine or test warrant.

The EPA’s decision could also prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from going well beyond its mission in trying to regulate the environment by obliging companies not only to carry out specific and detailed carbon accounting, which is expensive and costly, but also to calculate the emissions of the company’s suppliers and customers! It seems that even some of the commissioners thought it was overkill.

Meanwhile, many of the world’s biggest economies are increasing their coal purchases as they try to circumvent Russian gas supply constraints. Moreover, free markets can solve problems without overly complex, business-destroying, government-imposed regulations.

A trade group called America’s Power, a party to the EPA litigation, was pleased with the court’s decision – their statement said in part: “Coal-fired power plants provide affordable and reliable electricity.” Indeed, the reliability of the network is essential and is already tested on occasion. Biden, it seems, should be running on power generators of all types as inflation is at its highest level in 40 years. Cooperation seems cautious, especially with industries that provide affordable energy.

Now is the time for the Biden administration to pivot like the European Union that just declared natural gas and nuclear power as “green.” A change of course could help achieve Biden’s goals of being carbon neutral by 2050. China alone produces twice as much carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels as the United States , so thinking globally while acting locally is a lofty goal and regulating our businesses to death is myopic.

The rigid approach of pursuing carbon limitation through administrative state power is based on fear. Labeling carbon as a “climate crisis” or regulating to achieve “environmental justice” may appeal to Biden’s base. However, the heavy hand of over-regulation is not only costly, but also subject to proper legal scrutiny. Hopefully the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision is reflected in the White House.

Steven W. Anderson is an AMAC action delegate. He retired after 30 years as a ranger and land manager with several Home Office agencies. He and his wife also owned and operated two espresso businesses in Oregon.







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Andrew B. Reiter