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The Supreme Court Overturned a Major Environmental PolicyWritten

It’s been over a month since the conservative supermajority court overturned the ‘Clean air act’ which granted the ability for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the United States’ carbon emissions. What does this mean for climate change?


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In a 6-3 vote the court ruled to overturn the act, stalemating major plans that the Biden administration had to combat climate change.

Previously the EPA was granted the right to regulate the U.S. carbon emissions. This right allowed them to implement a standard on power plants, old and new, of how many carbon emissions they can generate.

“Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,’” said Chief Justice John Roberts in his opinion for the court.

Roberts believes, however, that EPA should not be given authority over this Clean air act, which is why congress were very vocal about their dissenting opinions during the overturn.

In a statement presented by President Biden he deemed the ruling, “another devastating decision that aims to take our country backwards." Biden further stated, he would "not relent in using my lawful authorities to protect public health and tackle the climate crisis.”

President Joe Biden made it his term mission to cut back on the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade and to have an emissions-free power sector by 2035. However, with this major overturn, his plans face serious pushback.

Many believe that this is a setback for all efforts to combat climate change. Richard Revesz, an environmental expert at the New York University School of Law, called the decision “a significant setback for environmental protection and public health safeguards.”

The conservative justices have expressed that the act gave way too much unchecked power to the EPA, and felt that it was what needed to be done.

As for what this means. It means that there with there no longer being an enforcement on how many CO2 emissions are being generated. This could mean serious increase for the future of global warming. With temperatures rising with each summer, ecosystems will continue to struggle to survive.

There is little known about the direction of President Joe Biden’s plans to cut back on emissions by 2035, but he is still strong in his belief that it will happen.


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