Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency that any extensive attempts for the EPA to regulate the entire power-producing sector of America would have to have a particular and clear Congressional grant. Specifically, it didn’t have the authority to impose a cap-and-trade regime on states designed to force a shift to renewable energy sources from those based on fossil fuels.
Absent that grant as is the case, the EPA can’t issue sweeping rules, as encapsulated in a plan initially forwarded by the Democrat Pres. Barack Obama Administration that the Democrat Pres. Joe Biden Administration wished in large part to continue, that constrain power production on the basis of carbon emissions. Landry, not long after taking office and along with officials from 15 other states joined West Virginia on the winning side, commented on how the outcome correctly placed the power to regulate in the hands of Congress rather than bureaucracy.
As big of a win it was for the rule of law, it represented as much a setback for Edwards. Earlier this year, his climate alarmist-inspired panel issued its final report that, in practical terms, can’t do a whole lot of the far-reaching items it shills without the cooperation of the Legislature or the Public Service Commission, where much more realistic understanding on climate by their majorities reign.
Still, a number of items hope to force private sector power producers into following these dictates, and a valuable tool of leverage here could have been the EPA had it the authority to regulate emissions in this fashion (ironically, a more balanced and reasonable plan issued by the Republican Pres. Donald Trump Administration assuming the EPA had the regulatory authority with less intervention would have done this, but Biden scrapped this and now has nothing to show). For example, if the EPA has this authority, that could be used as leverage against producers to have them advocate for the PSC to impose a renewable and clean power standard and integrated resource plans, albeit to their liking. These are regulatory cudgels to force utilities into more expensive portfolios of energy sources (which then gets passed down to consumers), but without the EPA’s ability to impose standards nationally there’s no incentive for producers to agree to these, much less to lobby for (to them, relatively) favorable regulation.
Without this leverage, it further ensures that Edwards’ alarmist agenda at best can be achieved only at the margins, such as forcing increased needless taxpayer expense to alter composition of the state’s vehicle fleet. And a new governor – certainly if the all-but-announced Landry as gubernatorial candidate prevails next year – likely will roll back major portions of what little Edwards can do on his own without submission by other independent parts of government.
Even as what Edwards ends up doing will cost the people, the potential mischief of his agenda has been curtailed significantly by this ruling. Louisianans can rejoice in this.