Saturday, November 26, 2022

Biden’s ‘cost of carbon’ policy survives court challenge

NEW ORLEANS ( Associated Press) – In a victory for President Joe Biden, a federal appeals court on Thursday overturned his March decision to revive the administration’s plans to make up for potential damage from greenhouse gas emissions while creating rules for polluting industries. Refused to reconsider.

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A Louisiana-based federal judge earlier this year blocked the so-called social cost of carbon policy, saying it would bring costly regulatory burdens and drive up energy prices. But a panel of three 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals judges in New Orleans unanimously stayed the lower court last month. On Thursday, the appeals court issued a brief order that none of the court’s 17 full-time judges sought a hearing, which was requested by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Landry led the challenge on behalf of Louisiana and nine other states.

“We are disappointed with the Fifth Circuit’s decision and will appeal to the Supreme Court,” Landry’s office said in a statement.

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Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming joined Louisiana in the challenge.

The aim of the policy is to put a dollar value on the damage caused by every additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. That cost estimate will be used to shape future regulations for oil and gas drilling, automobiles and other industries, and a higher estimate may justify more stringent regulations.

On his first day in office, Biden issued an order that restored the cost estimate to about $51 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions after the Trump administration lowered the figure to about $7 or less per ton. Former President Donald Trump’s estimate included the damage felt only in the US versus the global damage received in the higher estimates previously used under the Obama administration.

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Republicans and business groups have questioned the accuracy of the complex economic models used to determine cost estimates. They argue that an emphasis on future climate damage will hurt the economy, especially the energy industry.

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A 5th Circuit panel ruled last month that any regulatory burdens brought on by the policy could be speculative at this point and that Louisiana and other states have challenged the policy, so there was no standing to sue. . It said US District Judge James David Cain, appointed by Trump in the Western District of Louisiana, had moved “out of the authority of federal courts” to order the Biden administration “to follow prior administration policies on regulatory analysis”. A specific agency action was absent. Analysis.”

The ruling panel included Judge Leslie Southwick, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush, and James Graves and Greg Costa, appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama. Of the 17 full-time judges on the court, 12 were nominated by Republican presidents – six of whom were nominated by Trump.

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