The Biden Administration has suffered a setback in court as a federal judge in Louisiana has ruled against a climate change executive order issued by Joe Biden.
The dispute began with the federal government’s attempt to place a “social cost” on what it classifies as “carbon pollution.” The government attempts to put an exact dollar value on the costs and benefits of emitting each ton of carbon dioxide released by human activity. The process of defining what amounts to a “quantifiable” monetary loss resulting from carbon emissions is subjective and politicized.
The number was established at $7 per ton of carbon dioxide during the Trump Administration. Under Joe Biden, that number has been changed to $51 per ton. When the tax shot up to that number, many of America’s energy-producing states decided to go to court.
Last Friday, US District Judge James Cain of Louisiana agreed with the plaintiff states. He ruled that the executive order issued by Biden in January 2021 factoring “social cost” of carbon emissions into rulemaking must be blocked. He agreed with the Republican State Attorneys General, who argued that the order drives up energy costs for Americans and reduces state revenues recognized from energy production.
Judge Cain issued an injunction against the Biden Administration that stopped it from using the new higher carbon cost estimate and the formula that attempts to place a dollar value on each additional ton of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
The fundamental problem with the Biden White House formula is that it must subjectively guess at the way an additional ton of carbon dioxide might affect the environment. Attempting to tie costs like hurricane damage to carbon emissions directly that produce a specific dollar amount is not much more than a vehicle used by the federal government to hammer energy-producing states and their citizens with additional taxes.
The judge stated in his ruling that the plaintiff states have demonstrated an apparent injury from the executive order that cannot be “undone through monetary damages.” The judge said that as a result, the best remedy is to block the order altogether until the final trial in the matter can be conducted.
The Biden Administration is virtually sure to appeal the district judge’s ruling. The case may land in the Supreme Court to determine whether the executive branch can impose rules that avoid Congress and are not based on actual scientific or factual foundations.