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12 US states sue President Biden over climate executive order

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Joe Biden (L) and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients (R) visit a Covid-19 vaccination site at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC on March 8, 2021. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN

A group of 12 US states is suing the government over a climate executive order issued by President Joe Biden earlier.

Filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt Monday, the lawsuit argues that the executive order has the potential to economically impact the United States through the expansion of federal regulatory power.

“Under President Biden’s executive order, which he didn’t have the authority to enact...hard-working Missourians who have lived and worked this land for generations could be left in the dust,” Schmitt said in a statement.


Biden’s plans amount to a complete reinvention of the executive branch’s approach to climate change, FP's @michaelphirsh writes.

— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) March 5, 2021


The order directs officials to figure out the “social cost of greenhouse gases.”

“Setting the ‘social cost’ of greenhouse gases is an inherently speculative, policy-laden, and indeterminate task, which involves attempting to predict such unknowable contingencies as future human migrations, international conflicts, and global catastrophes for hundreds of years into the future. Assigning such values is a quintessentially legislative action that falls within Congress’s exclusive authority,” said the suit.

While trying to figure out social costs of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, the Biden administration has temporarily returned to the Obama-era rate, which was $50 per metric ton of carbon.

“These numbers are high enough to justify massive increases in regulatory restrictions on agricultural practices, energy production, energy use, or any other economic activity that results in the emission of such gases,” said the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in the state of Missouri and backed by Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.


I think the momentum on aggressive targeting is there now. That's important!

The climate portion of the November COVID bill and a few of Biden's executive orders are some steps towards aggressive *action*. That's where we need to see transformative steps now.

— Sahil Kemkar (@skemkar3) March 2, 2021


Two industries that will be impacted by Biden’s executive order, manufacturing and agriculture, are two of the largest industries in the Show Me State.

The previous administration had valued the social cost of carbon at only $7 per metric ton.

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