On Thursday, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling that limits the powers of the government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), specifically the EPA’s authority to regulate pollutant emissions at the federal level. The ruling included a lawsuit brought by West Virginia that the EPA did not have the authority to legislate about the energy sector in individual states or at individual power plants.
The court’s decision will be a major obstacle to the environmental policies announced by the administration of US President Joe Biden, which at the start of his term committed by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent compared to 2005 levels.
The lawsuit in West Virginia has the support of some of the sector’s largest companies and 18 other Republican-majority states, particularly concern about having to abandon the use of coal, the most polluting fossil fuel. Reducing the use of fossil fuels as much as possible is one of the necessary interventions to reduce polluting emissions with the aim of curbing global warming and counteracting the effects of climate change. The court’s nine justices agreed with West Virginia with 6 votes in favor and 3 against, arguing that Congress needed to be clearer whether it intended to delegate such important economic and political decisions to a national body.
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in the United States and is made up of six conservative and three progressive justices. Recently, its balance has shifted towards increasingly conservative positions thanks to the appointment of three judges by former US President Donald Trump. In recent days, she has come under heavy criticism for her decision to repeal a law limiting the ability to carry a gun in public, and above all the law that repealed the right to abortion at the federal level, repealing the historic sentence. which has been guaranteed throughout the national territory since 1973.
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