Carbon Emission Regulation

In light of last week’s Supreme Court decision, we’re focusing this week’s 1-Minute Climate Snippet on carbon emissions regulation. The Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate Carbon Emissions from existing power plants.

Climate Tech Company with solar panels and wind mills

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent: "Today, the court strips the EPA of the power Congress gave it to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. ... It deprives EPA of the power needed—and the power granted—to curb the emission of greenhouse gasses.”

Not only did the overturned plan regulate GHG emissions, but it also set carbon limits for each state and incentivized alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, etc...

Around 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from generating electricity, and coal powers about 20% of US electricity.

As we know, the world must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The key to achieving this number is by keeping the vast majority of the Earth's remaining fossil fuels in the ground — regulation is an integral part of this.

While disappointing, this is not the end-all-be-all and there is still hope. When things seem backward on the federal level, it only means that we must band together to take concrete actions.

Companies like Arcadia, Inspire Clean Energy, Breakthrough Energy, and Cleartrace are some of the companies are leading the charge.

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