The U.S. Department of Mining has had significant success in the legal battle against the powers of the environmental regulator EPA to control CO2 emissions from power plants. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing appeals from a group of companies and U.S. states, including West Virginia, which produces coal. This could delay President Joe Biden’s climate move.
States and companies such as Naco Industries and Westmoreland Mining Holdings, with their legal opposition, are trying to avoid imposing emission regulations, as the EPA tried when Barack Obama was president. In 2016, the Supreme Court suspended Obama’s clean energy program and did not implement it.
But now the lower court has given far-sighted powers to the EPA in a judgment, companies and states complain. Critics say this will allow the agency to determine individually which power plants are emitting more. This situation is not good from the point of view of the coal sector.
The decision to try the case comes ahead of a new climate summit in Glasgow starting Sunday. One expert points out that the Supreme Court’s intervention, which is dominated by conservative judges, appears to be a setback to Biden’s climate ambitions. The president has promised to halve carbon emissions in the United States by 2030. But as long as these legal actions are pending, it may be very difficult for Biden to come up with new and stricter environmental regulations.
The government had earlier asked the Supreme Court not to engage in the debate. The case is said to be out of date because the EPA has no plans to renovate the old clean power project, according to the government. In Washington, work is underway on new rules, it was stressed.
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