In the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court has rejected the attempts by Louisiana and other states that federal agencies could not rely on the Biden Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon estimates. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court was unanimous. This was not surprising.
Louisiana had some success with its lawsuit. A federal court of the Bayou State in February stopped federal agencies from basing their calculations on the Social Cost of Carbon estimate. As I stated at that time, the opinion of the district court was a complete disregard for the applicable administrative law principles. Unsurprisingly, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals quickly stayed the injunction. Louisiana sought an en banc review but was unsuccessful, which led to the Supreme Court’s petition.
As I noted previously, there are many factors that can cause disagreements among reasonable people. These include the method used by the Biden Administration for calculating a Social cost of carbon, and the degree to which including such considerations in federal agency analysis and decision-making helps to reduce the risk of climate change. But the lawsuit’s theory was not the same as the district court order. The initial ruling was wrong at multiple levels and was only an issue of administrative law. It is therefore not surprising that neither the Supreme Court nor the Fifth Circuit judge were willing to express their opinions that the injunction should be upheld.