"How Charles Koch Purchased the Supreme Court’s EPA Decision"

"Decades of contributions aimed at influencing the judiciary bought the fossil fuel billionaire the ruling he’s always wanted."

"Today’s 6-3 Supreme Court decision restricting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions will benefit power plants and fossil fuel companies throughout the U.S. and profoundly hobble the government’s ability to address the worsening climate catastrophe.

The decision, written by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh, finds that the EPA does not have the authority to impose caps on carbon emissions by mandating a shift to cleaner energy sources. The ruling means that Congress, rather than the EPA and its staff of scientific experts, will handle the critical task of curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Today, the Court strips the EPA of the power Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time,’” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in a dissenting opinion joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer. “Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. The Court appoints itself—instead of Congress or the expert agency—the decisionmaker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

A number of energy magnates and fossil fuel trade groups pushed for the case that could kneecap the agency and boost their profits. But perhaps no one did more to bring West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency to the Supreme Court — or ensure that ultraconservative justices would be on the bench to decide in the companies’ favor — than Charles Koch."

Sharon Lerner reports for The Intercept June 30 2022.

Source: The Hill, 07/01/2022