Twelve Republican states are suing the Biden administration, claiming a recent climate-focused executive order will undermine state sovereignty and tear apart the “fabric of liberty.”
The suit argues that President Joe Biden’s order “will destroy jobs, stifle energy production, strangle America’s energy independence, suppress agriculture, deter innovation, and impoverish working families. It undermines the sovereignty of the States and tears at the fabric of liberty.
“In practice, President Biden’s order directs federal agencies to use this enormous figure to justify an equally enormous expansion of federal regulatory power that will intrude into every aspect of Americans’ lives.”
According to Fox News, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is leading the suit, writing in a Monday tweet, “We’re fighting back against this unlawful federal overreach.”
🚨TODAY I led a 12 state coalition in filing suit against President Biden’s administration over the massive expansion of federal regulations through executive order.
We’re fighting back against this unlawful federal overreach.
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) March 8, 2021
“Manufacturing, agriculture, and energy production are essential to Missouri’s economy and employ thousands of hard-working Missourians across the state,” Schmitt said in a Monday statement.
“Under President Biden’s executive order, which he didn’t have the authority to enact, these hard-working Missourians who have lived and worked this land for generations could be left in the dust. From higher energy bills to lost jobs, this massive expansion of federal regulatory power has the potential to impact nearly every household in this state — that’s why today I’m leading a coalition of states to put a stop to this executive order and protect Missouri families.”
Garrett Hawkins, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, praised Schmitt’s decision, adding in the same statement, “For decades, farmers and ranchers have led the way in producing more food, fuel and fiber while reducing their environmental impact, including capturing carbon in more ways than ever. Government should not get in the way of our continued progress by adding regulations that dramatically increase production costs.”
The attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah joined Schmitt in the suit.
The suit targets President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 13990, titled “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”
According to the suit, the order has “has arrogated to the Executive Branch the unilateral power to dictate specific values for the ‘social costs’ of greenhouse gases in virtually every regulatory program administered by the federal government … without any statutory or constitutional authority.”
Section 5 of the order states, “It is essential that agencies capture the full costs of greenhouse gas emissions as accurately as possible, including by taking global damages into account. Doing so facilitates sound decision-making, recognizes the breadth of climate impacts, and supports the international leadership of the United States on climate issues.
“An accurate social cost is essential for agencies to accurately determine the social benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when conducting cost-benefit analyses of regulatory and other actions.”
The order also establishes an “Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases,” co-chaired by the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
According to the suit, the working group’s values for the “social costs” of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, at a total of $9.5 trillion, give “some idea to some idea of the magnitude of the regulatory costs on the American economy that the Interim Values would justify.”
The suit claims that, under these numbers, the order will “inflict hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy for decades to come.”
The suit also alleges that “setting the ‘social cost’ of greenhouse gases is an inherently speculative, policy-laden, and indeterminate task, which involves attempting to predict such unknowable contingencies as future human migrations, international conflicts, and global catastrophes for hundreds of years into the future.” It goes on to state that this responsibility is “quintessentially legislative” and falls under Congress’ constitutional jurisdiction.
The lawsuit was also filed against Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, acting OMB Director Robert Fairweather, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture.
All in all, this lawsuit is extremely important. Biden needs to understand that states, especially Republican states, will not tolerate federal overreach, especially by a man who believes their governors are “Neanderthals.”
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