Supreme Court Restricts EPA's Ability to Regulate Carbon Emissions

posted on Thursday, June 30, 2022 in Energy News

The Supreme Court’s decision is a defeat for Iowans and everyone in the United States. Addressing climate change is an urgent need and decarbonizing our electricity is among the first steps we must take. By restricting the Environmental Protection Agency from using a system-wide approach to address climate change under the Clean Air Act, the decision makes it harder to mitigate carbon, methane, and other fossil fuel emissions that will drive human suffering and death around the world.  

“This reversal of precedent to restrict EPA’s ability to regulate the energy system as a whole to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will delay the transition to clean energy and was procedurally unnecessary,” said Michael Schmidt, IEC staff attorney. “By limiting EPA’s regulatory authority under §111(d), today’s decision will increase the impacts of climate change on human health and the environment in Iowa and around the world.” 

Iowa has seen increasingly hotter temperatures and erratic weather, such as the unprecedented derechos and wild storm systems like the series of 63 tornadoes that caused damage across Iowa in December 2021. Worldwide, deadly heatwaves, rampant wildfires, and widespread flooding are attributable to climate change. This year’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear that we must act quickly and must start immediately.  

IEC will continue to push Iowa’s utilities to fully decarbonize electric generation. “Iowa is in a position to transition to clean energy, but we need MidAmerican, Alliant, and other utilities to step up,” said Kerri Johannsen, IEC’s energy program director. “Switching to reliable, clean electricity generation allows other sectors to make the transition as well. Today’s decision made this critical first step more difficult.”

Read more about the Supreme Court ruling. IEC will continue to analyze the ruling and provide more detailed analysis in the weeks to come. 

  1. carbon pollution
  2. clean energy
  3. climate change
  4. coal