In a one-line order issued on May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Biden administration’s continued use of the social cost of carbon, which applies a dollar amount for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The EPA uses this calculus to develop and justify rules that regulate emissions from utilities, vehicles, manufacturing plants and other sources.
Former President Trump set the cost at $1, followed by the Biden administration returning the social cost of carbon price to the Obama-level of $51 per ton. A Louisiana judge blocked President Biden’s new price point in response to lawsuits brought by several Republican-led states. The U.S. Supreme Court overruled the lower court and is allowing the Biden administration to move forward with their calculation. This clears the way for the EPA to move forward with several major rules regulating carbon emissions from power plants and other primary sources.
Sources in Washington expect this ruling to expedite the Biden administration’s plan to release new regulations prior to the end of the year.