Thursday, February 11, 2016

Republican Court Blocks US Effort To Fight Climate Change

The Republican Court, which used to be called the Supreme Court, took an unusual step to block the EPA from enforcing President Obama's effort to shift the production of electricity from coal to cleaner fuels.  It agreed to delay the implementation of the EPA rule until it decided whether it was constitutional.  Ordinarily, the court takes no action until it hears a complaint that is still being dealt with by a lower level federal court.  The suit was brought to the court by 27 states controlled by Republican governors. The EPA has been under attack by the coal industry, and its supporters in government, since the EPA announced its rule. 

The Republican Court's decision comes at a bad time.  An agreement was reached in Paris by national governments from around the globe to reduce carbon emissions.  The US played a key role in this agreement because it had not agreed to other international efforts to reduce carbon emissions.  If the US cannot implement its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, other nations may renege on their commitments.  That would be a terrible outcome for future generations.  It would also send a bad single to the rest of the world about US leadership.  One of its two political parties is dependent upon the ignorance of its constituents to remain in power.  Half of its members do not believe in the theory of evolution and they have been instructed to reject the scientific evidence for global warming.  A notion dependent upon ignorance for political power cannot remain a global leader for very long.

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