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Supreme Court Limits EPA Authority to Regulate Power Plant Emissions

June 30, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has curbed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) options for limiting emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from power plants, an important environmental decision that could impact the federal government’s authority to enforce other regulations.

The court in a 6-3 vote, with conservatives in the majority, on June 30 said the EPA does not have broad authority to shift U.S. electricity production away from coal-fired power plants toward cleaner energy sources, including solar and wind power. The court said future measures to address pollution must be limited to restrictions imposed on specific coal-fired plants, instead of pushing utilities to shift from coal toward renewable energy resources.

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