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Clouds are seen above the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 17, 2021 in Washington, D.C.Drew Angerer / Staff / Getty

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Thursday that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have broad authority to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

This was a major blow to the federal government’s longstanding tradition of policymaking by unelected bureaucrats.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion in West Virginia v. EPA, which concerned the Biden administration’s efforts to force energy production away from coal and toward so-called “green” alternatives such as solar and wind under the powers delegated to the EPA by  the Clean Air Act, and how much of its own authority Congress can transfer elsewhere. 

“Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,’” Roberts wrote. “But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme […] A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.”

The ruling has drastic ramifications for environmental policy, for the federal government’s ability to impact the economy, and potentially for other policy areas in which Congress has delegated the responsibility for crafting policy to unelected agencies, which conservatives have long decried as a major contributor to the growth in the size and power of the federal government, its infringement on individual rights, and the relative inability of the people to change policies they disfavor.

The ruling has been met with outrage from Democrats and liberal activists, who have long claimed the federal government needs broad discretion to combat anthropogenic global warming, the phenomenon in which they claim human activity, rather than natural phenomena, is primarily responsible for Earth’s changing climate.

The ruling comes at the close of a Supreme Court session delivering several momentous conservative victories, most notably the long-awaited overturn of Roe v. Wade, which forced all fifty states to allow most abortions, and an affirmation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Leftists have responded with anger, violence, and calls to defy or limit the Supreme Court.