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PA Department Of Environmental Protection Responds To SCOTUS Ruling That Curbed EPA's Ability To Fight Climate Change

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) --The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released a statement following the Supreme Court's decision to curb the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to broadly regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Ramez Ziadeh said the ruling "undercuts good-faith efforts to fight climate change and protect clean air." Adding that they will continue fighting.

Governor Tom Wolf and DEP have been at the forefront of protecting the air we breathe and ensuring that communities are not bearing unfair burdens from regulations protecting air quality. Cost-effective actions like reducing methane leaks from gas wells and participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will continue to improve Pennsylvania's air for years to come... Pennsylvanians strongly favor strong protections for the air we all breathe, the water we drink, and the land we live, work, and play on. This administration will continue to uphold our constitutional responsibility to conserve and maintain clean air and pure water for all people, including generations yet to come.

The ruling is a major defeat for the Biden administration's attempts to slash emissions at a moment when scientists are sounding alarms about the accelerating pace of global warming.

In addition, the court cut back agency authority in general invoking the so-called "major questions" doctrine -- a ruling that will impact the federal government's authority to regulate in other areas of climate policy, as well as regulation of the internet and worker safety.

The ruling was 6-3. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the conservative majority, with the three liberal justices dissenting. Roberts said that "our precedent counsels skepticism toward EPA's claim" that the law "empowers it to devise carbon emissions caps based on a generation shifting approach."

"Under our precedents, this is a major questions case," Roberts wrote, adding that "there is little reason to think Congress assigned such decisions to the Agency."

Roberts wrote that capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal may be a "sensible" solution.

"But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme" under the law in question.

"A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body," he wrote.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

-(©Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

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