by Benjamin Yount


The state’s largest business group is encouraged about fewer government regulations after the latest U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The justices in Washington, D.C. on Thursday ruled that the EPA does not have the power to regulate power plant emissions.

In a 6-3 decision in the West Virginia v. EPA case, the court ruled that Congress never gave the Environmental Protection Agency authority to issue sweeping clean energy goals.

“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,’” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

But he added only Congress can make a “decision of such magnitude and consequence.”

Wisconsin’s largest business group, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, said the court simply returned the balance of power (and future energy decisions) to Congress instead of the EPA.

“Today’s ruling is a major win for the rule of law, and it ensures that decisions with massive impact on the economy can only be made by officials who answer directly to the voters and not unelected bureaucrats,” WMC’s Scott Manley said in a statement. “Environmental regulations must not only be based in science, but also balance the economic impact they will have.”

The group Wisconsin Conservation Voters condemned the ruling.

“The majority ignores the science of climate change. It also sets a dangerous precedent by undermining the authority of all federal agencies to establish the strongest, most cost effective pollution standards to protect people and the environment from dangerous pollution and other threats,” the WCV’s Kerry Schumann said.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the ruling will allow for “corporate polluters” to continue with carbon emissions.

“The Supreme Court took away the EPA’s ability to put even a modest carbon reduction plan into action for the entire country. The United States cannot achieve the type of carbon reductions needed to address climate change unless we are all working together,” Parisi said.

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Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Joe Parisi” by Joe Parisi. Photo “Scott Manley” by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. Photo “Kerry Schumann” by Wisconsin Conservation Voters. Background Photo “U.S. Supreme Court” by Kurt Kaiser. CC0 1.0.