November 28, 2022

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In the United States, the Supreme Court controls the power of the federal government to fight climate change

New change in the Supreme Court of the United States. On Thursday, June 30, the country’s Supreme Court issued a ruling restricting federal government mechanisms to combat greenhouse gases.

Its six conservative judges, on the advice of their three progressive colleagues, ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not enact general rules to control emissions from coal-fired power plants, which generate nearly 20% of electricity in the United States.

“Limiting carbon dioxide emissions to the extent that coal must be moved nationwide to generate electricity would be an appropriate solution to today’s crisis. But empowering Congress EPA to implement such a measure is not credible.”Judge John Roberts writes in this judgment.

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“Today, the court overturned the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency, the power granted by Congress to address the ‘most important problem of our time’.”, In a separate argument written on behalf of the progressives, was condemned by Magistrate Elena Kagan. He particularly recalled that six warmest years had been recorded in the last decade.

Political split

This decision, which could have a major impact on global warming, is immediately welcomed by Republicans and is hostile to any federal regulation, reflecting the divisions in American society over environmental issues.

“Supreme Court restores power to people today”Its leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has accused Democratic President Joe Biden. “To wage a war against cheap energy” Despite record inflation.

Democrats opposed the decision, as did the young Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez. “Disaster”. “Our planet is on fire. This extremist Supreme Court is destroying the ability of the federal power to fight.”, Said Senator Elizabeth Warren. The White House also immediately condemned the decision “Disaster” And called on Congress “Putting America on the Path to a Clean, Safe Energy Future”.

Stunningly, environmental protection systems highlight the gap with the rest of the world. “This decision threatens the United States, which is far behind our international partners in accelerating efforts to meet their climate commitment.”Nathaniel Kyohan, head of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, underlined.

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The reversal of the judiciary

The court’s ruling on Thursday traces its origins to an ambitious plan adopted in 2015 by Barack Obama to reduce CO2 emissions.2. This “clean power plan”, the implementation of which came to the EPA, was blocked before it came into effect. In 2019, Donald Trump released his own version “The Rule for Affordable Clean Energy”Controls the operational portfolio of the EPA at each power generation site, without authorizing it to redesign the entire network.

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A federal court invalidated this version, prompting several conservative states and the coal industry to intervene in the Supreme Court and clarify the EPA’s powers. Democrat Joe Biden’s government has said it does not want to revive Barack Obama’s plan and has asked the Supreme Court to declare the file invalid.

Then Flip over abortion Last week, the decision was the latest reversal of the judiciary. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled by a narrow majority that the EPA was qualified to regulate emissions of global warming gases, as well as the responsibility for controlling air pollution through the 1960 Act. , Former President of the Republic Donald Trump, Climatoseptic And hostile to any regulatory action for industry, bringing three judges into the temple of American law, thus consolidating its conservative majority.

Beyond the EPA, Thursday’s decision could restrict the efforts of all federal regulatory bodies, including Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA).

World with AFP