Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Imagine how different the USA would be if climate laws were decided by the elected representatives of the people, instead of sneaky deep state manoeuvres designed to extend the reach of existing laws.
A landmark climate change ruling could go up in smoke after Justice Kennedy retires
BY MARK KAUFMAN
After 30 years on the Supreme Court bench, Justice Anthony Kennedy will leave the nation’s highest courthouse at the end of July.
With Kennedy’s departure comes much uneasiness. One cause for concern is over the paramount climate decision Massachusetts v. EPA, in which Kennedy proved to be the deciding swing vote, as he often was. The worry is that with him gone, the ruling will be left imperiled.
The case occurred after the EPA decided, in 2003, that it could not regulate heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Twelve states, including Massachusetts, sued the agency. They argued that these gases were pollutants and a danger to the public. Eventually, the case found its way to the Supreme Court.
Settled by a five to four vote in 2007, Massachusetts v. EPA ruled for the first time that heat-trapping greenhouse gases are pollutants, and that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can regulate them, just as the agency reins in pollution emitted by cars and trucks.
“I think Massachusetts v. EPA is the most important environmental decision the Supreme Court has ever decided,” Ann Carlson, the director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law, said in an interview.
President Donald Trump will select the next Supreme Court nominee, and it’s almost certain this individual will, at minimum, find Massachusetts v. EPA flawed or bad law. Trump is openly hostile to widely accepted climate science, and appears not to have even an elementary understanding of how climate works.
Massachusetts v. EPA gives the EPA the right to regulate CO2 using existing Clean Air Laws.
What I still find shocking is the utter contempt greens like Kaufman seem to display for democracy.
If greens want to regulate CO2, they should try to convince voters to support politicians who plan to regulate CO2.
Sneaky back door efforts to extend the reach of existing laws are politically dangerous. In my opinion the 2003 EPA vs Massachusetts decision, and many other examples of green contempt for democracy over the years, demonstrates that greens are well aware they don’t have the support they need to pass the draconian laws they would like to pass, but they just don’t care.
Greens are determined to get their way regardless of what the people want.