Supreme Court May Limit Fed’s Power Over Climate, Energy

by | Jan 20, 2024

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday regarding a case that could curtail federal agencies’ ability to develop climate and energy regulations.

The case is related to “Chevron deference,” which is a precedent providing federal departments with “broad leeway when underlying statutes are vague or silent on a topic,” Axios explained. The doctrine has been in place for decades, as we described in May. It grants agencies deference when Congress leaves ambiguity in a statute, the Hill described. “It involves a two-step test: First, judges decide if Congress has in the statute directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If it is ambiguous, courts defer to agencies as long as their actions are based on a ‘permissible construction,’” The Hill wrote at the time.

A team from Loper Bright Enterprises is appealing a ruling that exists because of the doctrine. “The regulation requires herring fishing boats to allow a federal observer aboard to oversee operations and compensate them for their time. The company argues the regulation significantly decreases their profit margin, and the agency had no authorization to impose it,” the outlet continued.

Did Congress Intend To Provide This Authority?

Federal overreach is a significant issue in modern America. Since there is no set rule of law in many of the contexts agencies are involved, providing them with the “Chevron doctrine” can certainly lead to problems. Clarifying the law to ensure a limit to federal overreach on business, but ensuring the protecting of our planet’s natural beauty, is part of the shepherding provided by Christians.

There are ways for a middle ground to exist. But it all depends on how the case plays out. Axios believes the ruling could play into “wider campaign narratives” throughout the 2024 election year. This gives you the power to tell your potentially elected officials how you want the situation to play out.

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