Climate Corner September 2022 – EPA’s Power to Regulate CO2 Emissions

By Fraser Perkins —

On June 30, 2022, the Supreme Court, by a 6-3 vote along strictly partisan lines, limited the EPA’s ability to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants.  While Congress’ recently passed Inflation Reduction Act propels the United States toward reaching a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, more action will be needed.  Flexibility in the regulation of existing power plants by the EPA is a great tool; full implementation by the EPA will require additional Congressional approval.  Unless Democrats make significant gains in the upcoming midterm elections, passing additional climate legislation will be a tough slog.

This picture sums up my attitude toward the Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v EPA.  The numbers in the right-hand box refer to CO2 levels in parts per million.   The Supreme Court decision fails to recognize our dire predicament.





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