Twelve Republican-led states filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over an executive order that would expand federal environmental regulation, arguing the order would have severe economic and social consequences.
Missouri, which leads the lawsuit, was joined by state attorneys general in Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
“Under President Biden’s executive order, which he didn’t have the authority to enact, these hard-working Missourians who have lived and worked this land for generations could be left in the dust,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement.
President Joe Biden’s executive order would force the states to figure out the “social cost” of greenhouse gases, including “climate risk, environmental justice, and intergenerational equity,” and then revise their carbon output based off of these costs.
“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,” the lawsuit said. “Assigning such values is a quintessentially legislative action that falls within Congress’s exclusive authority.”
If Biden’s executive order is enforced strictly, the breakdown of this new “social cost” would be $269 billion for carbon-dioxide emissions, $990 billion for methane, and $8.24 trillion for nitrous oxide—totaling nearly $9.5 trillion.
“This number gives some idea of the magnitude of the regulatory costs on the American economy that the Interim Values would justify,” the lawsuit said.
“It will destroy jobs, stifle energy production, strangle America’s energy independence, suppress agriculture, deter innovation, and impoverish working families,” the filing continued. “It undermines the sovereignty of the States and tears at the fabric of liberty.”
The states named Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department as defendants along with Biden.