(RightWing.org) – The Clean Air Act was originally designed to help states and Native American tribes protest projects like pipelines that threatened their lands. However, over the years the entities took advantage of the Act. In 2019, President Donald Trump took a stand at limiting state and tribal powers. He issued an executive order, which was challenged in the courts. Now, the US Supreme Court has sided with the Trump administration — at least for now.
Former President Donald Trump issued an executive order on April 10, 2019, directing the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to review a provision of the Clean Water Act granting state and tribal authorities the ability to set limits on projects potentially impacting their water sources. The following year, the EPA issued a new rule blocking those authorities from considering issues like energy policy or air quality and setting a one-year deadline for review and official protests of a project.
On Wednesday, April 6, the Supreme Court effectively reinstated the Trump era policy by granting a stay blocking a lower court’s decision to remand and vacate the EPA’s rule, pending the outcome of an appeal pending in the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
JUST IN: The Supreme Court reinstated a Trump-era regulation that restricts the power of states and Native American tribes to block pipelines and other energy projects.
— Axios (@axios) April 6, 2022
Curiously, Biden administration officials readily admitted the lower court lacked the authority to block the FDA rule. Nevertheless, it urged the Supreme Court not to reinstate it, asking for time to revise the rule, instead.
On May 27, 2021, the EPA announced its intention to create new rules to increase the ability of states and Native American tribes to protect water resources. However, Biden administration officials say they don’t expect to release the new directives until the spring of 2023.
What do you think? Should states and tribal leaders have the ability to block energy projects?
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