High Court Declines to Block Biden Greenhouse Gas Policy

May 27, 2022 by Dan McCue
High Court Declines to Block Biden Greenhouse Gas Policy
The U.S. Supreme Court building. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to block a Biden administration policy that directs federal agencies to assess the societal costs of greenhouse gases as part of their decision-making processes.

As is their custom, the justices did not explain their rationale for rejecting a request from Louisiana and nine other states to throw a roadblock in front of the policy.

The underlying litigation in the case began almost immediately after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

In one of his first acts as president, Biden signed an executive order reviving the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases.

The working group has an Obama administration pedigree and was disbanded by former President Donald Trump soon after he took office.

Biden’s executive order empowered the working group to regularly issue estimates on the “social costs” of greenhouse gases and required federal agencies to include these estimates in each cost-benefit analysis for new regulations.

The states that challenged the new order dismissed it as a “power grab” and accused the Biden White House of trying to “manipulate America’s entire federal regulatory apparatus … so that the administration can impose its preferred policy outcomes on every sector of the American economy.”

A federal district court in Louisiana temporarily blocked the Biden administration from using the estimates as part of its regulatory decision-making process while litigation continues.

This led the administration to appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the lower court ruling.

The states then petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case, asking the justices to reinstate the district court’s order barring federal agencies from using the interim estimates.

The states argued the executive order would force them to review every aspect of modern life and to bear the new hidden costs of doing so, without any authorization from Congress.

But in a brief filed on behalf of the administration, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued the executive order does not categorically require an agency to monetize costs and benefits in the first place.
In reality, she explained, the executive order “provides only that, if the agency does so, it generally must use the values provided by the Working Group rather than some other set of values.”

Prelogar also argued the states’ challenge is premature because there’s no way to assess the injury that might be caused to the states by future regulation.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

A+
a-
  • climate
  • environment
  • federal agencies
  • greenhouse gases
  • Supreme Court
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Supreme Court

    June 14, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on ‘Bump Stock’ Firearm Attachments

    WASHINGTON — Dealing a blow to gun safety advocates, a sharply divided Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Dealing a blow to gun safety advocates, a sharply divided Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on “bump stocks,” an accessory used to turn a semiautomatic weapon into something comparable to a rapid-fire machine gun. In a 6-3 ruling, a majority... Read More

    June 13, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Democrats Criticize Chief Justice for Supreme Court Ethics Enforcement

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats criticized the Supreme Court's chief justice Thursday for failing to enforce ethics standards on the court... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats criticized the Supreme Court's chief justice Thursday for failing to enforce ethics standards on the court as they consider a proposal to intervene. Lawmakers were discussing a Senate Judiciary Committee bill to impose a new code of ethics on the Supreme Court.... Read More

    US Supreme Court Rules to Preserve Access to Abortion Pill Mifepristone

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled unanimously to preserve access to the abortion pill mifepristone, a pill used in the... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled unanimously to preserve access to the abortion pill mifepristone, a pill used in the most common way to end a pregnancy. The medication was used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the United States last year. The ruling is the court's... Read More

    Supreme Court Has Lots of Work to Do and Little Time to Do It With a Sizable Case Backlog

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with nearly half of the cases heard this year... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with nearly half of the cases heard this year still undecided, including ones that could reshape the law on everything from guns to abortion to social media. The justices are also still weighing whether former... Read More

    The Washington Post Said It Had the Alito Flag Story Three Years Ago and Chose Not to Publish

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nine days after The New York Times reported about the political symbolism of an upside-down American... Read More

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nine days after The New York Times reported about the political symbolism of an upside-down American flag that flew at U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home, the Washington Post acknowledged it had the same story more than three years ago and... Read More

    May 28, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Supreme Court to Consider Challenge to ‘Vague’ EPA Rules

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear San Francisco, California’s, challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear San Francisco, California’s, challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to tell cities not to pollute water bodies without setting specific limits to guide them. The central issue in the case revolves around the city’s practice... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top