Supreme Court Delivers ‘Devastating’ Blow to Biden’s Climate Agenda – The Fiscal Times

Written by Amanda

Supreme Court Delivers ‘Devastating’ Blow to Biden’s Climate Agenda  The Fiscal Times

Happy Thursday! We’ll be back in your inbox after the
July 4 holiday. Here’s what’s happening.

Supreme Court Delivers a ‘Devastating’ Blow to Biden’s Climate

The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the Environmental
Protection Agency’s ability to curb power plant emissions,
delivering a blow to the Biden administration efforts to combat
climate change.

In one of the final opinions of the court’s 2021-22 term, the
six conservative justices ruled that Congress had not clearly given
the agency the authority to broadly regulate carbon emissions from
power plants.

“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 in the majority decision. “But it
is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on
its own such a regulatory scheme … . A decision of such magnitude
and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting
pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.”

Republicans hailed the ruling as a victory against
administrative bureaucracy while Democrats and environmentalists
warned that it would have dire environmental and public health
implications. President Joe Biden called the ruling “another
devastating decision that aims to take our country backwards,”
adding: “While this decision risks damaging our nation’s ability to
keep our air clean and combat climate change, I will not relent in
using my lawful authorities to protect public health and tackle the
climate crisis.”

Here’s a rundown of some reactions:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “The
consequences of this decision will ripple across the entire federal
government, from the regulation of food and drugs to our nation’s
health care system, all of which will put American lives at risk,
making it all the more imperative that Democrats soon pass
meaningful legislation to address the climate crisis.” Mr. Schumer
declared in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):“[T]he Court has undone illegal regulations issued by the EPA
without any clear congressional authorization and confirmed that
only the people’s representatives in Congress – not unelected,
unaccountable bureaucrats – may write our nation’s laws. … The
ruling also pushes back against the overbearing administrative
state, which Democrats have expanded dramatically in recent years.
The Constitution states clearly that the lawmaking process lies
with the people and their elected representatives, not with opaque
federal agencies. I am glad the Supreme Court affirmed this fact
and hope other overeager bureaucrats take notice.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), chair of the House Energy and
Commerce Committee:
“Today’s decision makes a mockery of
the clear separation of powers outlined in our Constitution and
subverts decades of settled law. The Clean Air Act is emphatically
clear that EPA has both the authority and the obligation to protect
public health and regulate dangerous air pollution like greenhouse
gases. The Supreme Court’s blatant dismissal of the will of
Congress is an alarming display of hubris, the consequences of
which will be felt far beyond this case.”

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the top
Republican on
the Senate Environment and Public Works
“If Congress had intended to give EPA such sweeping
authority to transform an entire sector of our economy, Congress
would have done so explicitly. Today’s decision by the Supreme
Court is welcome news and further proves that EPA overstepped its
authority by imposing enormously burdensome regulations on states
to reconfigure our electric grid despite Congress’s rejection.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), chair of the Senate Finance
“The Republicans on the Supreme Court are not going
to allow any meaningful administration efforts to combat climate
change. It’s crystal clear. The only way to tackle this problem is
through congressional action, which is why it’s so important that
Congress pas our clean energy tax credit package.”

The bottom line: “The Supreme Court’s ruling inevitably
pushes the EPA to get creative, but the likely effect will be to
push even more responsibility for cutting emissions to the states —
where most of the action has been,” Bloomberg columnist Liam
. “Some states are doing yeoman’s work, but
a fragmented approach means higher costs and slower progress.”

Household Spending Cools as Slowdown Worries Mount

Spending by U.S. households slowed in May, the Commerce
Department announced
Thursday, as purchases of goods and services fell by 0.4% in real

Separately, the personal consumption expenditures price index —
which the Federal Reserve relies on to target inflation — rose by
0.6% from a month earlier, and by 6.3% over the last year.

The core personal consumption expenditures index, which excludes
volatile food and fuel prices, increased by 0.3% in May relative to
the month before, and by 4.7% over the last 12 months, the smallest
annual increase since November.

Taken together, the numbers suggest that while inflation may be
peaking, it remains elevated and price increases continue to eat
away at consumer purchasing power, raising the odds of an economic
slowdown in the coming months.

“Today’s details on monthly spending figures shows a much weaker
profile for spending in the first five months of the year and sets
us up for weaker growth in the second quarter than the data would
have suggested just 48 hours ago,” Wells Fargo economists Tim
Quinlan and Shannon Seery wrote in a note.

Some economists now think growth will be notably slower in the
April to June period. “If the trend continues, we should expect
spending volume in June to decline further, adding more downside
risks to our 2.5% growth forecast for gross domestic product in the
second quarter,” wrote Tuan Nguyen of the consulting firm RSM.

Some economists are slashing their forecasts for economic
growth. Analysts at Morgan Stanley reduced their estimate for GDP
growth in the second quarter to an annualized rate of 0.3%, down
from the 2.0% they predicted just a few days ago. Forecasters at
the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta are now predicting a decrease
of 0.1% in Q2, which, if accurate, would mean two quarters of
negative growth in a row — an occurrence that sometimes is used to
define a recession.

Even without a downturn — and there are plenty of economists who
think the economy is strong enough to avoid falling into a
recession anytime soon — some analysts are questioning the Fed’s
aggressive stance on inflation, given the signs of cooling. “Core
PCE inflation now at 4.7% year on year, and has decelerated three
months running,” Ryan Avent of The Economist wrote Thursday. “It’s
obviously not where the Fed wants it to be, but it sure does make
the move to panicky 75 [basis point] hikes look ill advised.”

Source: thefiscaltimes.com

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Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai

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