CNBC reports that the US Supreme Court has limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to set standards on climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions for existing power plants.
In its 6-3 ruling, the court said that only Congress, not the EPA, has the power to create a broad system of cap-and-trade regulations to limit emissions from existing power plants in a bid to transition away from coal to renewable energy sources.
The case stems from the EPA’s directive in 2015 to coal power plants to either reduce production or subsidise alternate forms of energy. That order was never implemented because it was immediately challenged in court.
Fossil fuel-fired power plants are the second-largest source of pollution in the U.S. behind transportation, according to the EPA. The U.S. is also the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases behind China, making it a key player in global efforts to combat climate change.