By Victor Skinner (The Center Square)
A federal judge has halted a Biden administration policy that requires federal agencies to consider the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions from regulations and other actions.
Judge James Cain Jr. ruled in favor of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s request for a preliminary injunction against Biden Executive Order 13990, which directed federal agencies to consider the social cost of carbon for virtually all federal actions.
The executive order established a working group of federal appointees to establish a damage value, or social cost, based on global environmental damages from climate changes.
The measure required federal agencies to apply the figures to regulatory actions and other decisions for most all federal agencies, including the Departments of Interior, Commerce, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, Environmental Protections, Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury.
Cain’s order, which was handed down Friday, prevents federal agencies from “adopting, employing, treating as binding, or relying upon the work product of the Interagency Working Group” and to return to previous policies pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
“Biden’s attempt to control the activities of the American people and the activities of every business from Main Street to Wall Street has been halted today,” Landry said. “Biden’s executive order was an attempt by the government to take over and tax the people based on winners and losers chosen by the government.”
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Landry is leading a 10-state coalition in suing the Biden administration over the executive order that also includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Landry argues the executive order is a backdoor attempt to take over numerous industries and Louisiana is particularly impacted because of the state’s leadership in domestic energy production.
The Department of Justice counters that the federal government has included greenhouse gasses in federal planning for decades, and federal agencies are only considering the costs.
Biden’s executive order cites the Former President George W. Bush administration as the first to develop a metric to determine emissions costs.
The Obama administration expanded on the program to create the Interagency Working Group, which the Trump administration disbanded, according to a February 2021 White House statement.
Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, the gasses targeted by Biden’s executive order, are among the most common and prevalent byproducts of human economic activity, from the production of electricity and natural gas, to farming operations, industrial activities, the production of construction materials and waste disposal.
Agricultural activities such as soil and waste management result in about 75% of nitrous oxide emissions, while 27% of methane emissions come from livestock excretions, according to Landry.
“Agriculture, energy, and virtually every other manufacturing industry is at stake; and today, a federal judge in Louisiana recognized that the federal government does not have this reach,” he said. “While our fight is far from over, I am pleased the Court granted preliminary relief against the president’s unacceptable and unauthorized executive overreach; and I remain committed to seeing this case through to the end – fighting every step of the way for the workers and job creators in Louisiana and throughout our Republic.”
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.