The U.S. Supreme Court is about to get a look at the latest attempt by environmentalists and their political allies to bypass legislatures and use the courts to enact their climate-change agenda. So far, they have sued America’s energy producers in hopes of having judges, not regulators, set carbon emission limits and making energy producers pay for local infrastructure projects to deal with the impacts of climate change. As the Progressive Policy Institute has explained, selling fossil fuels is not illegal, and sensible people on both sides of the aisle have long agreed that these actions have no foundation in the law.
Indeed, this litigation has already percolated up to the U.S. Supreme Court once. In a unanimous ruling authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court made it clear that Congress and the EPA, not the courts, are the appropriate branches of government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Justice Ginsburg understood, as have other progressive legal scholars, that suing energy producers over climate change is not the proper way to set American energy policy, which must balance many factors including environmental concerns, energy independence, and affordability.