The Supreme Court has spoken. From Roberts majority opinion:
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." New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144, 187 (1992). But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme in Section 111(d). A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is reversed, and the cases are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Justice Kagan wrote an excellent dissent in today's SCOTUS ruling West Virginia v. E.P.A. It starts on page 57. If you have time, give it a read.
Congress charged EPA with addressing those potentially catastrophic harms, including through regulation of fossil fuel-fired power plants. Section 111 of the Clean Air Act directs EPA to regulate stationary sources of any substance that “causes, or contributes significantly to, air pollution”and that “may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” 42 U. S. C. §7411(b)(1)(A). Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases fit that description....And let’s say the obvious:The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. The Court appoints itself—instead of Congress or the expert agency—the decision maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening. Respectfully, I dissent.
Once again the conservative majority grants its industry and big energy funders a license to pollute and hamstrings and emasculates the EPA. This ruling will hurt all citizens of the nation and globe. These rulings tend to fall hardest on poor, minority neighborhoods, where it is easiest for polluters to get permits, but int he end I fear that it will hurt all of us, as our climate continues to warm.
Asking this divided congress to act on the matter is laughable, when the Manchin type "dinos" are sucking the tit of the energy companies, and the Republicans are only too happy to preserve the status quo. Gorsuch, concurring with the majority, gets to help his mother Anne Burford's master plan to dismantle the EPA. The majority will be content to dicker and rearrange the deck chairs on the titanic while the earth burns to a crackly crisp.
It seems frankly suicidal to stay on this course. You have to wonder if the justices consider the effects of climate change and pollution on their own families? And I have to think that perhaps it is not an ideological split but a theological split at heart. I saw the following comments on TPM and they gave me reason to pause.