Court narrows EPA authority over greenhouse gases
Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The court's ruling that the Obama administration exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act does not outright strip away the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but it does significantly narrow the path such regulatory actions may take. It also suggests that novel legal interpretations of the issue will face stiff headwinds with the high court.

North Dakota’s regulatory officials and trade groups have all been watching this case for some time.

“The Lignite Energy Council opposed the Clean Power Plan and joined the lawsuit because it was designed to be overly burdensome to states like North Dakota and its power plants,” Lignite Energy Council president and CEO Jason Bohrer said. “It would have resulted in higher costs, a decrease in grid stability, and the loss of thousands of jobs with no environmental benefit.”

Bohrer said puts the court's decision places authority back into the hands of elected officials, instead of bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

“We are proud to have filed an amicus brief in favor of the lawsuit and grateful for the leadership of North American Coal and the N.D. Attorney General’s Office who led this legal effort,” he said. “Meanwhile, while D.C. lawyers battle in courtrooms or environmental industry groups release apocalyptic press statements, we will instead continue to lead by example on environmental issues--building the largest carbon capture retrofit projects in the world while being a strident advocate for next-generation technologies that continue to make North Dakota the cleanest air state in the nation.”

In Montana, Rep. Rosendale was among MonDak lawmakers praising the decision.

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to take power away from EPA bureaucrats, in the form of broad climate regulations, and returns that authority to the legislative branch,” he said. “The unelected D.C. bureaucracy has no place creating and implementing laws for the American people, and Congress must step up and fulfill its responsibility to propose and pass commonsense legislation. This is a great victory for American energy.”

Likewise, Rep. Kelly Armstrong in North Dakota praised the outcome.

“This decision confirms that the power to implement policies that keep our air and water clean should be held by the states, not the federal government. Burdensome federal regulations stifle energy production and are expensive for consumers, hostile to America's energy producers, and undermine reliable baseload power,” he said. “North Dakota was one of the plaintiffs in this case, and this result is in large part due to the tireless advocacy of our late Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, and now Attorney General Drew Wrigley. Wayne was a champion for North Dakota, and we are still receiving the benefits of his leadership.”

Sen. John Hoeven said the decision is an important one for North Dakota’s future.

“North Dakota is a leader in producing more energy with good environmental stewardship, and it is important that states continue to have flexibility to reduce emissions in a way that maintains the affordability and reliability of the grid,” said Hoeven. “Today’s SCOTUS decision affirms our work to both reinforce the role of states as the primary regulator of energy development within their borders and to push back on the needlessly burdensome rules that the Biden administration continues to impose on our energy producers.”

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