Law Insider India

Legal News, Current Trends and Legal Insight | Supreme Court of India and High Courts

US Supreme Court to hear important Climate Change Case

2 min read
us supreme court law insider in

us supreme court law insider in

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: February 28, 2022 at 19:35 IST

The United States Supreme Court will hear the most important Environmental Case that can restrict or eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to control pollution.

The High Court’s decision with its Conservative super majority could shred Joe Biden’s plans to halve the Greenhouse Emissions in US by the end of the decade which is necessary to curb the catastrophic impacts of Climate Change.

A Professor at Princeton University stated, “They could handcuff the Federal Government’s ability to affordably reduce Greenhouse gases from power plants”

The outcome may not only have repercussions on curb of air pollution but also on ability of Federal agencies to regulate Healthcare, Telecommunications, Financial Sector, etc.

A Professor of Environmental Law at Harvard stated, “If the Court were to require the EPA to have very specific, narrow direction to address greenhouse gases, as a practical matter it could be devastating for other agencies’ abilities to enact rules that safeguard the public health and welfare of the nation.”

The enactment of regulations under Federal Statutes such as Clean Water Act, Hazardous Waste Regulation, etc would be restricted.

In 2015, President Obama had announced Clean Power Plan to lower Carbon dioxide emissions from electricity sector by replacing coal power plants with wind and solar sources. However, it was never implemented after barrage of Lawsuits from Republican States and was put on hold by Supreme Court.

President Trump instituted a new plan but was vacated on last day of his administration. The Biden Administration is yet to issue its own regulation.

Legal experts opined that it is unusual for the Supreme Court to take up a Case that revolves around hypothetical future regulation.

In West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agency, the Plaintiffs want the High Court to block changes to Electricity sector in Obama Clean Power Plan.

Biden Administration urged the Court to dismiss the Case stating, “The current absence of any federal greenhouse gas regulation causes them no tangible harm.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a Conservative on the Court noted the arguments for Vaccine Mandate and stated, “The people who are regulated are not here complaining about the regulation.”

Lawyers for EPA are expected to propose the Power Plant Climate regulation by next month.

Legal experts said that it is a Case which will address Federal Agencies’ authority while Congress has failed to pass new laws on Climate Change.

Also Read: COP 26 Glasgow Summit and India: An Insight