The U.S. Supreme Court turned down a case from Republican-led states that questioned the Biden administration's attempt to put a social cost on carbon. This was a bad decision for conservative states. It's clear that the Court wasn't convinced by the evidence that carbon is an important part of all living things. The Court only mentioned Missouri v. Biden as one of the petitions for writ of certiorari that were denied. They did not say why this decision was made.
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
In the past, the Supreme Court had also turned down an appeal to the estimates. The Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit also threw out the case last year, saying that the states did not have the right to question the estimates. That being said, the court did offer some hope by saying that the states could sue if they could prove a real harm. But for now, it looks like the Supreme Court is happy to ignore GOP worries about how the federal government regulates carbon.
A long list of conservative states wanted their case to be heard. These included Tennessee, Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kansas, Indiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Montana. The Court had other ideas, which was bad for them. In a statement, the office of Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey promised to keep fighting against government abuse. It's great that they are determined, but we still don't know if it will lead to anything real.
President Joe Biden set up the "Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases" by executive order in 2021. This group, which includes leaders from the Council of Economic Advisors and the Office of Management and Budget, is in charge of giving carbon emissions a social cost. The first social cost estimate from former President Barack Obama was $43 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions. It went down to $3–$5 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions under former President Donald Trump. Biden, on the other hand, has raised the number to $51, which is a whole new level.
The executive order says that in order for agencies to figure out the social benefits of lowering greenhouse gas emissions, they need to have a good idea of the social costs. The figures were supported by the Office of Management and Budget, which said that correctly calculating the damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions is very important in the fight against climate change. Of course, they forgot to say how much this will cost and how hard it will be on American businesses and neighborhoods.
Missouri and Louisiana, two red states interested in this case, said that these costs will have huge effects on all parts of the American economy. They said that the executive order tells agencies to use the interim costs to figure out how much changes in greenhouse gas emissions caused by rules and other agency actions are worth. But Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar told them not to worry because agencies aren't required to follow the cost estimate. It's yet another example of how the Biden government avoids responsibility and keeps empty promises.
The fight over the "social cost of carbon" is clearly not over yet. If these figures are used in future rules, there will definitely be more legal challenges. Lawyer David Watkins pointed out very wisely that these numbers have the same problems everywhere they are used. The time has come for conservatives to get ready for the fight ahead. This problem is too important to ignore.