The US Supreme Court has drastically reduced the powers of President Joe Biden’s administration to combat climate change. Judges ruled Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not set limits on CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. The decision is a heavy blow to Biden’s climate policy.
Coal phase-out, climate change, sector coupling: The briefing for the energy and climate sector. For decision makers
The limits for coal-fired power plants were introduced in 2015 under then-President Barack Obama, who, like Biden, is a Democrat. He had given the EPA broad powers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While Republican Donald Trump wanted to weaken the EPA, Biden planned to continue the course set by Obama.
The chief justices have now said that capping CO2 emissions to move away from coal-fired power generation could be “a sensible solution” to the fight against global warming. However, the EPA has not been specifically given the authority by lawmakers to set industry-wide limits, only for individual power plants.
The decision was made by a majority of six of the nine Chief Justices. The three dissenting votes came from the liberal camp, which has been in the minority since Trump’s tenure on the Supreme Court.