(Official Washington Examiner editorial, July 3)  The Supreme Court on June 27 was right to place on hiatus something that was both figuratively and literally another attempted power grab by President Joe Biden’s hyperaggressive regulators.

While the legal result was appropriate, the practical results of the decision could be even better. The decision could save both money and lives.

n the 5-4 decision in Ohio v. Environmental Protection Agency, the court majority put at least a temporary hold on new EPA regulations designed to limit emissions, from power plants and industries, which could be carried downwind from one state into other states. For various reasons, numerous states contend that the new regulations exceeded EPA’s scope of authority or that EPA did not follow proper procedure in promulgating the rules.

In a series of lower court decisions, 12 states (in six federal circuits) already secured temporary blocks against the EPA rule until the merits of their challenges can be fully considered. Ohio and the remaining 10 affected states, along with three corporate entities, requested similar forbearance, arguing that they shouldn’t be subject in the interim to a costly rule that 12 other states were escaping and that might end up being nullified altogether. In the latter instance, the Ohio-led group of states would be required to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions, to comply with regulations that might turn out to be illicit. Those billions of dollars, once spent, would be (in the court’s word) “nonrecoverable,” and the costs would be borne both by taxpayers and by energy ratepayers who also would never recoup their outlays.

In worst-case scenarios, the regulations could hamper electricity generation and overtax power grids, which in times of weather emergencies could risk public health and even lives. In Texas in 2021, grid failure during a deep freeze caused at least 246 deaths…. [The full editorial is at this link.]

 

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