How the Supreme Court ruling will gut the EPA's ability to fight the climate crisis

"To avoid the worst impacts of climate change we need to do a lot more and move a lot faster.
Why this case was so important for climate actionAt the heart of Thursday's opinion was a question over the EPA's authority to regulate planet-warming emissions from power plants, which are a huge contributor to the climate crisis.
Emissions from power production rose last year for the first time since 2014, an increase that was mainly driven by coal use.
"Failing to regulate heat-trapping emissions will harm people and ecosystems worldwide," said Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
What the court saidThe Supreme Court said the Clean Air Act does not give EPA broad authority to regulate planet-warming emissions from power plants.
Shifting from fossil fuels to renewables "is the most effective, efficient and lowest cost way of reducing greenhouse emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants," Restrepo said.
"By taking that tool off the table, the court has removed EPA's most effective tool for controlling greenhouse gas pollution from existing power plants."
Environmental attorneys are digesting the Supreme Court's opinion and determining how the agency could act on climate change going forward.
Carbon capture and sequestration is where the carbon is scrubbed out of power plant emissions before it enters the atmosphere.
But cases on those issues are already circulating in the lower courts and could eventually be elevated to the Supreme Court.
Regan has previously said that the EPA will work on a strategy to combat other environmental pollutants coming from power plants, including cutting sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and coal ash waste from coal-fired power plants.
Even though those regulations deal with environmental pollution from power plants, they also have the effect of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
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