Supreme Court treats Biden’s green agenda a HUGE BLOW: Justices strike down an Environmental Protection Agency POWER GRAB and regulator has too much control over water pollution
- Judges say EPA bureaucrats were wrong to block couple’s dream home
- Judge Samuel Alito says regulator got the law wrong when issuing the diktat
- It comes amid Joe Biden’s green crackdown on ‘polluting’ appliances
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow Thursday to Joe Biden’s “green agenda” after justices blocked a power grab by the country’s environmental regulator.
Judges have ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency wrongly issued a diktat to an Idaho couple forcing them to halt construction of their dream lakeside family home.
EPA dockets told Michael and Chantell Sackett that their property, about 300 feet from Priest Lake, could not be built on what they called protected wetlands.
They also threatened to impose massive fines of more than $40,000 a day for any violations of US federal environmental law if they ignored their orders.
The Sackett family have been ordered to halt construction of their dream lakeside home in Idaho
The case focused on whether environmental regulators misinterpreted the Water Quality Act 1972 and the definition of protected wetlands
Samuel Alito said the agency misunderstood the Clean Water Act and acted illegally when it sent the order to the Sackett family.
“The wetlands on the Sackett property are distinct from any possibly covered waters,” he wrote, because they are not directly related to them.
Alito wrote that protected wetlands must have a “continuous surface connection to this water, making it difficult to determine where the water ends and the wetland begins.”
He argued that the EPA’s interpretation was too broad, too difficult to apply, and too “insecure” for landowners.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett supported Alito’s opinion, while four disagreed with his decision.
Judge Elena Kagan, a liberal, lamented how this would hamper the EPA’s ability to fight climate change.
“The vice in both cases is the same: the Court designates itself as the national environmental policy maker,” she wrote, joined by fellow liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Although they disagreed on the broader legal points, all the judges said the EPA erred with the couple who brought the case.
The decision will be a boost for farmers, home builders and other developers who will find it easier to obtain planning permission.
Damien Schiff, an attorney for the Sacketts, said the decision “would bring the scope of the Clean Water Act back to its original and proper limits.”
He said it was “a profound victory for property rights and the constitutional separation of powers”.
West Virginia GOP Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he was “gratified that the Supreme Court ruled in a way that the lands and waters of the state are less subject to the whims of unelected bureaucrats.”
Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican representing Iowa, also welcomed the decision.
“The federal government does not have the authority to impose blanket jurisdiction over puddles, waters and wetlands with vague and excessive regulations in the name of Biden’s ever-evolving climate agenda,” he said. she declared.
The Biden administration has launched a green crackdown, banning the sale of traditional gas stoves and demanding tougher emissions regulations for other appliances
Biden then released an angry statement, lashing out at the court for a decision that “defies science.”
And the commander-in-chief issued a thinly veiled threat that his administration would look for loopholes in the decision so officials could ignore it.
“My team will work with the Department of Justice and relevant agencies to carefully review this decision and use all legal authorities we have to protect our nation’s waters for the people and communities who depend on them,” he said. he declares.
It also follows a decision taken last year by the court’s conservative majority to curb the EPA’s power to curb emissions from power plants.
The fight over what constitutes a wetland has raged for decades, with the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations issuing rules on the subject.