SCOTUS Lands a Knockout Blow on the EPA: Climate Change Roundtable Live Now!

The Heartland Institute

Fresh off the heels of the Roe vs. Wade decision, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) just neutered the runaway powers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed to have. Referencing the Clean Air Act, the EPA has enacted regulations, fines, and other indirect means to essentially create quasi-legislation outside of the bounds of congress. This power wielded by the EPA was never granted and is supposed to reside within those who United States citizens elect to congress. Instead, Americans fell victim to wildly overbearing regulations enacted by unelected bureaucrats.

Heartland’s Linnea Lueken, Anthony Watts, and H. Sterling Burnett join guest host Jim Lakely to discuss the bombshell ruling. Join us every Friday at 12pm CT for live episodes of Climate Change Roundtable.

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July 1, 2022 11:36 am

Found this online …

The EPA was a Nixon initiative. My father was involved with some of the groups advising the president.
Dad said that he had never seen such a bunch of lousy “scientists” as those who formed the EPA back around 1972 or so. While he agreed with the purpose of the EPA, the people running it were not scientists.

Reply to  Neo
July 1, 2022 11:42 am


Reply to  Neo
July 1, 2022 12:58 pm

Most EPA staff are not and never were scientists. They cover a wide range of professions and skills … law enforcement, attorneys, engineers, administrators, field staff, construction managers, computer and data management, technology development, laboratory managers and technicians, contracts management and procurement specialists, public affairs staff, and so on. EPA, like all other Federal agencies, contracts with environmental consultants, engineers, construction firms, logistics firms, remote sensing firms, surveyors, and law firms to carry out a large proportion of the work the agency performs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duane
Reply to  Duane
July 1, 2022 1:44 pm

When I worked for a prime contractor, we were well aware that we had to be at least as smart as our subcontractors in order to manage those contracts.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
July 1, 2022 6:22 pm

From personal experience, few government employees are as smart as their contractor counterparts. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. As a junior and rising Federal government employee I was appalled at the incompetence and sloth of my superiors and coworkers. After reaching a certain management level I couldn’t take the humiliation and disgust anymore.

Those of you that have not worked in such environments cannot truly understand the total dysfunction of government. It is beyond parody and one can only weep for our nation.

Reply to  Neo
July 1, 2022 1:42 pm

Neo, hat tip to the wondrously deplorable matt.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Neo
July 1, 2022 3:43 pm

Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ was very influential to the ‘movement’ to set up the EPA. They quickly did away with DDT, which was cheap and off-patent, in favor of newer pesticides that were more expensive, and arguably not as safe. The ban on DDT in the US led to a world-wide ban which had terrible consequences in undeveloped countries where Malaria was rampant. Well done eco-zealots!!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Neo
July 1, 2022 6:12 pm

I was there in the early 1970s and met and attempted to supervise and manage many of them. They were the lowest of the low in science and administration. Just like Michael E. Mann and his cohorts in paleoclimatology they slithered in where there were no objective standards for education, experience and judgement. We all pay the price for Leftist ideologically manufactured issues and the creation of new Federal agencies with unbounded powers. FJB

Paul Johnson
July 1, 2022 12:02 pm

Tragically, this means that climate zealots will have to present rational arguments to convince a majority of Americans that their green fantasies are real. So sad.

Rhoda R.
Reply to  Paul Johnson
July 1, 2022 7:14 pm

Not really. All they have to do is convince the libs and rinos to add CO2 to the clean air act and Bob’s Your Uncle.

July 1, 2022 12:40 pm

The EPA should be a monitoring agency only. I think it is fine to accumulate the data of what is going into the environment. They have no business making decrees – that’s up to Congress.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 1, 2022 12:51 pm

EPA’s business is whatever Congress declares its business is via enacted laws. Virtually all of those laws authorize far more than just monitoring, including research, permitting, oversight, enforcement, design, construction, inspections, etc. etc.

Reply to  Duane
July 1, 2022 12:57 pm

Congress can pass laws based upon data gathered by the EPA. The EPA cannot pass laws.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 1, 2022 1:22 pm

Existing law allows EPA to impose monitoring standards, define what “clean” means for air, require states to spell out how they are going to get their air clean (and impose a federal implementation plan if the state doesn’t do it’s job), and develop emission standards for major sources of criteria and hazardous air pollutants. If you want EPA to just monitor and then propose regulations for Congressional approval, you would have to amend the Clean Air Act again.

Rick C
Reply to  Kemaris
July 1, 2022 5:07 pm

The Clean Air Act instructed EPA to set limits on six “criteria pollutants” — Carbon Monoxide, Ground-level Ozone, Lead, Nitrogen Oxides, Particulate Matter, and Sulfur Dioxide. Congress did not instruct or authorize EPA to regulate carbon dioxide. The SCOTUS ruling could have been a lot shorter IMHO.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rick C
July 1, 2022 6:25 pm

Rick, nothing is ever short in the law or government.

Reply to  Rick C
July 1, 2022 10:26 pm

There is nothing unclean about CO2
It is not a pollutant unless there is no ventilation .
Without CO2 no one could inhabit this earth.
CO2 is not a pollutant.It is an essential gas that has warmed this earth from a cold lifeless rock like the moon to a flourishing planet the home of close to 8 billion people .
With out CO2 plants cannot grow and they grow faster with more CO2.
I was mowing my lawn with my radio ear muffs and I heard these talk back hosts ( clowns) talking about this ruling on the EPA today in NZ.
They were not taking any callers so they got away with describing CO2 as a pollutant .
Humans breath out 7% of all CO2 emissions
But this does not matter because it is a cycle and no additional CO2 is released .
This is quite correct but some how these same people cannot understand that enteric methane from farmed animals is also a cycle and adds no additional carbon atoms to the atmosphere.

Reply to  Kemaris
July 1, 2022 6:59 pm

If you want EPA to just monitor and then propose regulations for Congressional approval, you would have to amend the Clean Air Act again.”
That doesn’t sound bad but I would rather the total dismantling of the agency with just some graduate students looking to get field work experience on data collection.

Reply to  Duane
July 1, 2022 1:15 pm

In your “mind” congress can authorize others to pass laws on it’s behalf.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW
July 1, 2022 6:31 pm

Congress can delegate anything it wants as long as it is in compliance with the restrictions of our Constitution. Vague laws and unclear delegations of authorities to Executive Branch agencies are not in accordance with clear Constitutional restrictions. The rub is that it takes competent, unbiased jurists to enforce those Constitutional requirements. Leftist (progressive) jurists, however, are notoriously biased.

Reply to  Duane
July 1, 2022 1:44 pm

Hahahaahha. Back on your meds.

Al Kour
Reply to  Duane
July 2, 2022 1:47 am

It’s a widespread practice by Parliaments in all countries to delegate their prerogatives and responsibility, one by one, to executive agencies. In this way the power is passing from elected bureaucrats who are at least partially contlolled by the people to unelected bureaucrats who are not controlled at all.
The highway to slavery.

Willem post
Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 1, 2022 12:52 pm



Last edited 1 month ago by Willem post
Reply to  Willem post
July 1, 2022 1:16 pm

Trillions? You are low by several orders of magnitude.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 1, 2022 6:08 pm

If all they did was monitor, they wouldn’t be able to create toxic mine spills with their backhoes. If they can’t do that then how else would they drum up more business?

July 1, 2022 1:13 pm

From my updated Blogpost

The End of the UNFCCC /IPCC Global Warming Meme is Confirmed by the Arctic Sea Ice.
1.The Millennial Global Temperature Cycle.
Planetary orbital and solar activity cycles interact and combine to drive global temperatures. Because of the thermal inertia of the oceans there is a 12+/- year delay between these drivers and global temperature. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.058% by weight. That is one 1,720th of the whole atmosphere. It is inconceivable thermodynamically that such a tiny tail could wag so big a dog. The Oulu galactic cosmic ray count provides a useful proxy for driver amplitude. 
The statements below are supported by the Data, Links and Reference in parentheses ( ) at
A Millennial Solar Activity Turning Point (MSATP) was reached in 1991/2.The correlative temperature peak and Millennial Temperature Turning Point (MTTP ) was in 2004 as also reported in Nature Climate Change Zhang, Y., Piao, S., Sun, Y. et al. Future reversal of warming-enhanced vegetation productivity in the Northern Hemisphere. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2022) .(Open Access)
Because of the thermal inertia of the oceans the UAH 6.0 satellite Temperature Lower Troposphere anomaly was seen at 2003/12 (one Schwab cycle delay) and was + 0.26C.(34) The temperature anomaly at 06/2022 was +0.06C (34).There has been no net global warming for the last 18 years. Earth passed the peak of a natural Millennial temperature cycle trend in 2004  and will generally cool until 2680 – 2700…………….
See more at

Mario Lento
Reply to  Norman J Page
July 1, 2022 1:55 pm

Seems like temperatures increased (through inertia?)to around 2020 or 16 years.

I take it that you posit that from now on, the thermal inertia has abated, and the cooling has begun… right?

Reply to  Mario Lento
July 1, 2022 5:00 pm

My comment says There has been no net global warming for the last 18 years. Earth passed the peak of a natural Millennial temperature cycle trend in 2004  and will generally cool until 2680 – 2700…………….
See more at
Just check the link for the complete set of Figures and data .I will be happy to answer any questions which arise based in what is there.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mario Lento
July 1, 2022 6:42 pm

One of your red circles is in the wrong place, Mario. The 1998 Super El Niño should instead be circled. The over 18-year period between then and the latest double-dip Super El Niño is essentially flat.

CO2 has minimal effect on Earth’s temperatures at the margin. Rising CO2 levels did not result in global temperature increases during the period between Super El Niños. Additionally, ignore land surface temperature measurements because they reflect land use changes, not CO2 increases.

mario lento
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 1, 2022 11:11 pm

Hi Dave: I agree about the CO2 having a minimal, logarithmic effect based on what we know of CO2 and the narrow wavelength band where CO2 changes the lapse rate. I am excited by some of the theories and evidence that climate may be cooling so we can end this BS global warming clap trap from mostly the left.

I am trying to understand the words of Norman page. I don’t mean to sound like I am criticizing them.

I would like someone to read Norman’s words and state them in a way that is not to ambiguous to me.

Tom in Florida
July 1, 2022 2:04 pm

I think people are getting to sidetracked into thinking the SC has ruled against specific items. If you look at the last three rulings, abortion, EPA regulations and the Remain in Mexico rule, they are all based on “was there proper authority to make/change/abolish those rules”. In the first two of those cases, the SC ruled NO, proper authority was lacking. They did rule that the Biden administration had authority to abolish the Remain in Mexico rule. When there is proper authority, I am sure they will not rule against it.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 1, 2022 4:13 pm

Bingo. This ruling did not permanently take away any authority from EPA. What it did was to lay out a “major decision rule,” which says that if Congress wants to delegate a major area of law-making to an administrative agency, Congress must make clear in the statute that it is doing so on purpose.

The ruling was not as much about EPA specifically as about the general practice of “putting new wine in old bottles” by stretching the authority of administrative agencies to control things they were never really supposed to be able to control.

Thus, for now, the EPA is barred from regulating CO2 emissions, because its enabling laws, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, do not clearly say the agency can. But if Congress really wants EPA to have that power, it can enact a new enabling act and then the agency can resume doing it.

Last edited 1 month ago by jdgalt1
Reply to  jdgalt1
July 1, 2022 5:53 pm


Sorry, JD, but I read a different opinion from SCOTUS

“for now, the EPA is barred from regulating CO2 emissions”


For now, the CPP and ACE efforts to control our electrical generating capability are gonna have to be revised or eliminated, and limiting emmisions will be directed at individual plants and not the industry as a whole – see Thomas comments, and especially Roberts.

The good news is the greenie ignorant folks will have to come up with other schemes to send us back 200 years in order to save the planet.

Gums sends..

Reply to  Gums
July 2, 2022 7:44 am

For now SCOTUS has barred the whipping overreaching power of EPA on regulating the CO2 human emissions.
Even when SCOTUS decision concerning specifically one specific area, still the legal implication holds the same verdict outcome for all other sectors.
And that includes clearly also the overall regulatory power of EPA…
not only the CO2 regulatory power of EPA, but the whole of it… including all sectors under EPA purview.

Yes, EPA still is recognized as a federal environment regulatory agency, by that SCOTUS verdict… even in the case of regulating CO2.
But the “fangs” are pulled off.

Now the States have far much more independence from federal imposition in the arena of environmental protection… as per the latest SCOTUS verdict.

Now EPA, can not even be legally sued in a court of law by ‘environmental activist groups’, especially in the CO2 regulatory matters… as there no any legal standing anymore for such as pestilence.


Last edited 1 month ago by whiten
Dave Fair
Reply to  jdgalt1
July 1, 2022 6:49 pm

The reason the Leftists have corrupted Federal Executive Branch agencies (Deep State) to achieve their ends is the fact that Congress could never pass such legislation because of ordinary voters’ rejection of such extreme schemes. With a divided Senate those extreme schemes have little chance of making it into law. A Republic, if you can keep it.

Rhoda R.
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 1, 2022 7:19 pm

And that is why most legislation over the past several decades has been ambiguous – to save Congress from having to face their constituents.

July 1, 2022 2:39 pm

This ruling only neutered the EPA re power plants. Another ruling will be needed re auto emissions, etc. It also only applies to big, significant-effect rulings.

Reply to  Roger Knights
July 1, 2022 3:49 pm

The most important ruling would be to overturn the prior Supreme Court ruling that allowed the EPA’s to declare that CO2 is a pollutant.

Richard Page
Reply to  Roger Knights
July 1, 2022 5:29 pm

I think that there is a case going through a lower level court in the US that would address this if it was brought to the SCOTUS. Given the decision here, there may be a push to get it into the Supreme Court as soon as possible.

Andy Espersen
July 1, 2022 3:41 pm

Finally, at long last, we are seeing the US Supreme Court issuing sound, conservative interpretation of the US constitution (including, by the way, also abortion). I am a New Zealander. We have no written constitution here. At present our Labour party has complete majority in parliament – and they are having a field day spitting out anti-democratic legislation with gusto, also dealing arrogantly with the huge global problems (e.g. climate change and Covid)

The US constitution, properly interpreted as it is now, will eventually assist also the rest of the free world to return to rational, humble and properly charitable governance.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
July 1, 2022 3:55 pm

Ever so grateful that the writers of the U.S. Constitution deliberately rule out a parliamentary system. Look at the damage that was done by Angela Merkel having to form several coalition governments by bring in the Greens and adopting policies that would keep them in government. Other examples include BoJo in the UK, the Israeli government that just failed was a coalition of 8 parties ranging from the hard left to an anti-Netanhayu group on the hard right, the decades of Italian governments to name a few.

Joe Dun
Reply to  Andy Espersen
July 1, 2022 7:41 pm

Actually, the EPA itself doesn’t legally exist. All the signers of the Constitution, thought they were limiting the federal government to just the powers they listed for it. The “general welfare” clause was expanded to not just be a restriction on the enumerated powers, but to grant new powers to the federal government. Then the ever-increasing thirst for government power, lead them to change the meaning, without bothering to amend the Constitution.

A true originalist would reject all of those acquired powers. Thus, no EPA, no Board of Education, no federally funded climate research at universities, etc. For that matter, all this supposed federal land, would be state lands, who might be more prone to allow drilling.

Sadly, the Republicans are just as drunk with power as the Democrats, and are happy with this expanded power. That is what took me to the Constitution party.

July 1, 2022 5:01 pm
David Hoopman
July 1, 2022 6:56 pm

I am very sorry to have to say this, but the relevant issue here will have to be revisited over and over again as the EPA and other agencies continue adopting regulations testing the bounds of what they can get away with. This will consume years if not decades. The bottom line is these people (i.e., ideological leftists desiring totalitarian control,) never, EVER, go away, and there is no such thing as permanent victory in pushing back against their power grabs. It never ends. .

John Endicott
Reply to  David Hoopman
July 5, 2022 4:08 am

And that is why “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”

Danley Wolfe
July 1, 2022 7:35 pm

The EPA should never have been given any authority on emissions limits. Until now the leaders in position in EPA are bureaucrats who carry out the bidding of the executive branch … who are political hacks and completely unqualied. Under Obama and Holdren the cost of carbon was increased by around 60% – 75% (depending on which case you are looking at).

Social Cost of Carbon Increase 2010 - 2016.png
Kent Gatewood
July 1, 2022 8:00 pm

Do the folks fined get their money back

July 1, 2022 10:21 pm

Folks if you think this is going to make congress or the Senate happy you don’t understand the kind of men and women that we have as our leaders. They want nothing that might make them lead. These fecless fools love hiding behind the federal bureaucracy,

John Endicott
Reply to  Ktarpley
July 5, 2022 4:11 am

That’s impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?” – General Cassio Tagge to Grand Moff Tarkin.

Totalitarians do love their bureaucracies.

July 2, 2022 10:03 am

My take: There are lots of happy reports on the Supreme Court’s ruling throwing out EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan. Some go so far as to suggest that EPA is barred from regulating power plant CO2 emissions.

It is not quite that simple and the result is rather amusing. EPA is still required to regulate CO2 under the terms of the Clean Air Act, but that Act provides no way to do that regulation. The Clean Power Plan attempted to expand an obscure minor clause in the Act to do the job but SCOTUS correctly ruled that the clause does not confer that kind of massive authority.

EPA is between a rock and a hard place. It should tell Congress that it cannot do the job and needs a new law, along the lines of the SO2 law added to the Act in 1990, curbing emissions. But such a law has zero chance of passing in the foreseeable future.

EPA is stuck. What they will now do is anybody’s guess. Enjoy their dilemma!

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