US Judge of Western District of Louisiana James Cain turned down Biden’s climate change agenda in a historic ruling. With this, Biden’s ability to impose carbon taxes on states is reduced sharply.
Federal judge gives Biden’s climate agenda a lethal blow
On his very first day as president, Biden revised the climate cost estimate of greenhouse gasses to about $51 per ton, reversing Trump’s decision which set it at $7 per ton.
Under the latest injunction, now the Biden administration will not be able to calculate the amount which states need to pay while installing carbon emissions facilities.
Reportedly, Trump’s $7 per ton estimate incorporated the impacts of the carbon emissions on the United States only; however, Biden’s higher mark was taking the global consequences of the emissions into account.
The so-called “social cost of carbon” is applicable to the oil and gas drilling on public lands that can contribute to fossil fuels emissions.
Federal judge in Louisiana strikes down Biden attempt to put greater emphasis on the potential damage from greenhouse gas emissions when creating rules for polluting industries; Lawsuit led by @AGJeffLandry (from @AP)https://t.co/eAjJF64HbL #lalege #lagov
— Melinda Deslatte (@MelindaDeslatte) February 11, 2022
Most of the damages the Biden administration was considering included greenhouse gasses’ impacts on agricultural productivity and property damages due to floods.
The judge believed Biden had no authority to extend this executive order without seeking public comment on it. Likewise, the judge mentioned Biden is considering global social impacts, instead of revolving his policy around America.
Biden’s climate agenda could’ve reduced states’ profits
Republican-led states claimed this measure would not only impact the development of the states, but would also reduce the number of jobs created for Americans.
While the $51 per ton mark was set by the Obama administration for the first time in 2016, Trump reduced it to $7 after assuming office, which Biden overturned once again last year.
Thus, ten Republican states sued the incumbent administration, which prompted the judge to give a verdict against Biden. According to the judge, Biden’s estimate will reduce states’ revenue by driving up the costs in the projects.
As per the ruling, Louisiana would be one of the most affected states, as the reduction of funds would hamper the government’s ability to maintain coastal lands.
Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry applauded the decision, stating the verdict will rein in Biden’s effort to control business activities.
Louisiana's Jeff Landry said the Biden administration's revival of the higher estimate was illegal and exceeded its authority by basing the figure on global considerations. https://t.co/9CTbU3VkQc
— KTBS (@KTBS) February 11, 2022
Landry also claimed Biden’s approach was to tax more people in the name of climate by choosing the winners and the losers himself. This is not the first time a federal judge gave a lethal blow to Biden’s climate agenda.
In June last year, another judge in Louisiana blocked Biden’s imposed pause on oil and gas leasing on federal lands; the judge believed the president exceeded his authority in his executive order.
Similarly, Biden’s climate agenda is in the doldrums in the US Supreme Court as well, where the conservative majority bench can restrict EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
The Department of Justice declined to comment on the ruling or its potential impacts on the government’s ability to increase carbon taxes.