“Sponsors of the Democrats’ massive, inflation-enhancing, anti-growth, tax-and-spending bill, deceptively titled the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ (IRA), are trying to fabricate legislative history,” writes Marlo Lewis in RealClearEnergy.
“According to them, certain IRA provisions were crafted to counteract the Supreme Court’s landmark deregulatory ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, 597 U.S. (2022). The cleverly inserted language, they contend, neutralizes West Virginia as a precedent for future litigation challenging President Biden’s climate policy agenda.
“That is self-serving spin. West Virginia, decided on June 30th, was and remains a powerful new check on bureaucratic overreach.” (See a summary of the decision.)
Lewis is responding to comments by legislators and environmentalists. For example, “Environmental groups in Ohio say new language in federal law will solidify the scope and authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act,” writes Andy Chow of the (Ohio) Statehouse News Bureau.
“The Inflation Reduction Act, which Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed into law earlier this month, included language that defines greenhouse gases as carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.
“Chris Tavenor, Ohio Environmental Council staff attorney, said the U.S. EPA has always had the responsibility to regulate greenhouse gases, but the new language ‘enshrines’ that authority.”
No, says Lewis.
“More importantly, it is nonsense to suggest that calling CO2 an ‘air pollutant’ in a budget bill authorizes the EPA to do what it tried to do through the CPP [the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan]. The CPP was fundamentally a plan to (1) reallocate production and market share in an entire economic sector and (2) override States’ longstanding authority under a separate statute (the Federal Power Act) to determine the electricity fuel mix within their borders.”
So, if Lewis is right, the Supreme Court decision has not been undermined by the new law.
Image by Monika of Pixabay.