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HomeTopicsEnvironmentDems’ Climate Bill Overrules Supreme Court, Expands EPA’s Control Over Energy Industry

Dems’ Climate Bill Overrules Supreme Court, Expands EPA’s Control Over Energy Industry

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By Trevor Schakohl, Legal Reporter

8-24-22

FILE PHOTO: Podium awaits the arrival of U.S. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to address staff at EPA Headquarters in Washington

REUTERS/Ting Shen/File Photo

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  • The Inflation Reduction Act defines “air pollutants” including carbon dioxide as “greenhouse gases.”
  • Some experts argue this legally authorizes the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases and encourage adopting renewable energy, while others were not so sure.
  • “There’s no definition there, it’s just sort of in a list, and it’s casually mentioned,” former Trump EPA transition team member Steve Milloy told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “There’s no section that says carbon dioxide is an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act.”

The Democrat-led climate bill signed into law Aug. 16 grew the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority over energy after the Supreme Court limited it in June, the bill’s text shows, by defining carbon dioxide as an air pollutant.

The court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA limited the EPA’s regulatory power and found that Congress had not authorized the agency under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to impose greenhouse gas emissions caps under the now-replaced Clean Power Plan to force a national transition away from coal power. Several of the Inflation Reduction Act‘s sections define the term “greenhouse gas” as “the air pollutants carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.”

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