ST PAUL, Minn. — Another big decision from the Supreme Court this week.
In a 6-3 vote, the court issued a ruling that limits the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases from coal plants. The six justices who voted in favor of this ruling argue the EPA had too much power.
These justices argue this power to limit carbon emission should rest with Congress because members are elected and better reflect the will of the people.
Climate scientists, however, are concerned that a split Congress won’t be able to get anything done.
"This is really an unmitigated disaster,” University of St. Thomas professor John Abraham said. "The net result of this is there is no watchdog, no authority that is available to reduce emissions."
Abraham says around 25% of all U.S. emissions come from coal plants, and he doesn't think a split-congress will have the votes to do anything about it.
"If the EPA doesn't have authority to regulate pollution coming from power plants, are they going to have authority to do anything?" Abraham said.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released this statement after the ruling Thursday:
Today’s court decision further threatens our environment, economy, and way of life. If the court will not let the federal government take action, Minnesota will continue to prioritize climate initiatives that creates new jobs, builds healthier communities and preserves our outdoor traditions for generations to come.
Many conservative politicians, however, argue the Supreme Court's decision will help lower energy prices, which have gone up significantly in recent months.
They also make the argument that the Supreme Court’s decision to take power away from the EPA will prevent energy shortages by giving power companies more options to create energy.
But Abraham says the court’s decision will cost us much more in the long run.
"This kind of ruling sets us back and it gives a leg up to countries that we're competing with. There are a lot of jobs at stake, a lot of money is going to be lost, and the U.S. is definitely going to be the loser here,” Abraham explained.
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