Breaking News

Tech giants call on SCOTUS to let EPA control CO2 emissions

Tech giants call on SCOTUS to let EPA control CO2 emissions

Major tech companies are weighing in on a high-profile climate case in support of EPA greenhouse gas regulations. Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, Tesla, Paypal, and Salesforce are among companies that filed a brief yesterday asking the Supreme Court to uphold the agency's authority to control pollution caused by climate change. asked to keep. asked to keep

"Both corporate action and EPA regulation are needed to reduce emissions at the rate necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change," the summary states. The companies say they are "united in their efforts to combat this threat."

The companies are weighing in in the case of West Virginia v. EPA, over concerns about whether the EPA has the regulatory authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants through the Clean Air Act. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last year after it was brought in by coal companies and states friendly to the fossil fuel industry.

It is the latest extension of the regulatory battle that began during the Obama administration. That's when the EPA instituted the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which would have forced power plants to curb planet-heat pollution generated by burning fossil fuels. After facing legal challenges, the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the scheme in 2016.

Then the Trump administration repealed the Obama-era plan and replaced it with its own, called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE). It was a very weak proposal that would have done little to cut America's carbon dioxide emissions and was expected to result in more than 1,400 premature deaths related to air pollution. A federal court eventually struck down ACE, so it was never implemented.

It gives the Biden administration an opportunity to write its own greenhouse gas rules. Joe Biden has already committed to reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half of peak levels under the Paris Agreement. To accomplish this would require sweeping policy changes, which his administration has so far struggled to enforce through legislation. Agency rule-making is another way the administration can help reduce emissions in the economy, although due to the legal back-and-forth on the CPP and ACE show, climate targets will be difficult to achieve through regulation alone. , If the Supreme Court favors the states challenging the EPA's regulatory authority, it would make it even more difficult to make meaningful climate progress through the agency's rules.

In short, tech companies argue that the EPA's action will help them create more regulatory certainty at the federal level. They also say that EPA rules on climate pollution will encourage clean energy development, which is necessary for companies to reach their own climate goals.

While each company has adopted its own sustainability goals, many -- including Amazon, Google and Meta -- have been asked to continue doing business with fossil fuel companies. Activists have also called on companies to support their climate commitments by advocating for policies to reduce pollution.

The Supreme Court is to begin the debate in February in West Virginia v. EPA. But stakeholders, including tech companies that have made recent commitments to tackle climate change, are already ready to listen.

No comments