In a disappointing blow to Conservative Republicans, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit from GOP-led states challenging the Biden administration’s attempt to assign a social cost to carbon, which they argue is a foundational element to all life. The Court provided no explanation for its decision, simply listing Missouri v. Biden as one of the petitions for writ of certiorari that were denied.
Supreme Court Rejects GOP States' Challenge to Biden's Rule Estimating Social Cost of Carbon
GOP concerns about the federal regulation of carbon—a foundational element to all life—will not be heard by the Supreme Court.https://t.co/egXigpJLqy
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) October 12, 2023
This is not the first time the Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to the estimates. Last year, the Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit upheld a federal district court’s decision to dismiss a similar lawsuit, ruling that the states lacked standing to challenge the estimates. However, the court did suggest that the states could sue if they could identify a concrete injury.
Despite the setback, 10 states, including Missouri, Tennessee, and Ohio, had hoped that the Supreme Court would take up the issue. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office expressed disappointment in the Court’s decision, but vowed to continue fighting against government overreach.
The dispute centers around President Joe Biden’s executive order establishing the “Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases,” which aimed to establish a monetary value for the social benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Former President Barack Obama set the social cost at $43 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions, while former President Donald Trump significantly lowered it to $3-$5. President Biden has set the estimate at $51.
The red states arguing against the estimates claim that the costs will have widespread impacts across the American economy. They pointed to the executive order’s language, which states that agencies “shall” use interim costs when calculating the value of changes in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from regulations and other agency actions. However, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that agencies are not required to adopt the cost estimate and that it is speculative as to whether a specific rule would result in a cognizable injury to the states.
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is likely that future regulations utilizing the social cost estimate will face additional legal challenges. David Watkins, an attorney with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, remarked that “the same problems with the social cost of carbon numbers exist regardless of where they are used.” So, the battle continues, and Republicans will surely keep fighting against what they see as government overreach.