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A federal judge in Louisiana has issued a ruling regarding a key climate change executive order issued by President Joe Biden shortly after he took office.
U.S. District Judge James Cain on Friday blocked Biden’s January 2021 order requiring consideration of the “social cost’ of carbon emissions when writing new pollution regulation rules, Fox Business reported.
Cain agreed with GOP attorneys general from energy-producing states who argued that Biden’s action to raise cost estimates of carbon emissions would likely escalate energy costs while also decreasing state revenues earned from energy production.
The injunction now blocks the Biden administration from using the higher cost estimate which seeks to put a dollar value on damages allegedly caused by every additional ton of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere, Fox Business noted, adding:
President Joe Biden on his first day in office restored the climate cost estimate to about $51 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions after the Trump administration had reduced the figure to about $7 or less per ton. Former President Donald Trump’s estimate included only damages felt in the U.S. versus the global damages captured in higher estimates that were previously used under the Obama administration.
“Plaintiff States have sufficiently identified the kinds of harms to support injunctive relief,” Cain’s ruling stated. “Moreover, the Court finds that the Plaintiff States have made a clear showing of an injury-in-fact, and that such injury ‘cannot be undone through monetary remedies.'”
“The Court agrees that the public interest and balance of equities weigh heavily in favor of granting a preliminary injunction,” the ruling added.
According to a slanted Jan. 20, 2021, piece by The Associated Press headlined, “Biden puts U.S. back into fight to slow global warming”:
President Joe Biden returned the United States to the worldwide fight to slow global warming in one of his first official acts Wednesday and immediately launched a series of climate-friendly efforts that would transform how Americans drive and get their power.
Biden signed an executive order rejoining the Paris climate accord within hours of taking the oath of office, fulfilling a campaign pledge. The move undoes the U.S. withdrawal ordered by predecessor Donald Trump, who belittled the science behind climate efforts, loosened regulations on heat-trapping oil, gas and coal emissions, and spurred oil and gas leasing in pristine Arctic tundra and other wilderness.
“A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden claimed in his inaugural address. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.”
The AP added: “Another first-day order directed agencies to consider the impact on climate, disadvantaged communities, and on future generations from any regulatory action that affects fossil fuel emissions, a new requirement.”
Republicans blasted Biden’s quick decision to return the U.S. to the Paris Climate Accords as well, claiming that other big polluters like China and India are not likely to follow them, putting them at a distinct economic and developmental advantage.
“The Paris climate agreement is based on the backward idea that the United States is a culprit here, when in reality the United States is the leading driver of climate solutions,” said Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican.
Indeed, while under Trump fossil fuel production dramatically increased, overall emissions actually fell.
“…[I]n 2019, the third year of the Trump presidency, the U.S. reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2.1% according to an early estimate by the Rhodium Group,” Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney wrote in January 2020.
“The reason? Mostly, it’s that we’re getting our electricity in less greenhouse gas-intensive ways,” he continued.
“Emissions from electric power generation dropped by a massive 10% last year, according to this estimate. That’s because of ‘the switch from coal to natural gas and renewables in the electric power sector,’ according to the Rhodium Group.”