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12 Attorneys General Sue Biden Over Climate Change Order

Climate Change

‘If the Executive Order stands, it will inflict hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy for decades to come.’


On Monday, 12 states filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over a climate change executive order signed on Joe Biden’s first day in office. The suit alleges that order 13990, titled “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” violates federal authority in its effort to determine the “social cost” of “monetized damages” of greenhouse gas pollution, which will, in turn, affect federal regulations.

“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 Schmidt said in a statement.

Schmidt leads a coalition of attorneys general from Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. The lawsuit claims that the Biden administration’s proposed efforts will cost a whopping $9.5 trillion: $269 billion for carbon dioxide “social costs” estimating, $990 billion for methane, and $8.24 trillion for nitrous oxide.

The suit states that Biden’s order will damage the manufacturing and agricultural sectors “for decades to come.” It also argues that the supposed “social cost” calculation of greenhouse gases is strictly a legislative function that should be left up to Congress, as outlined by section 1, article 1 of the Constitution.

“In practice, President Biden’s order directs federal agencies to use this enormous figure to justify an equally enormous expansion of federal regulatory power that will intrude into every aspect of Americans’ lives—from their cars, to their refrigerators and homes, to their grocery and electric bills,” the suit says. “If the Executive Order stands, it will inflict hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy for decades to come. It will destroy jobs, stifle energy production, strangle America’s energy independence, suppress agriculture, deter innovation, and impoverish working families.”

This is not the first time states and the private sector have fought back against the Biden administration’s energy policies. In February, 14 state attorneys general sent a joint letter to Biden urging him to reconsider canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, which was estimated to create more than 13,000 jobs.

The “pipelines,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wrote to Biden in a letter on Feb. 9, “continue to be the safest mode to transport our oil and natural gas resources and they support thousands of high-paying, American union jobs.” In January, The Western Energy Alliance, which represents oil and natural gas exploitation production companies, filed a lawsuit over Biden’s suspension of oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

In addition to the above arguments, the state attorneys general criticize what the White House identified as the “Working Group” for violating laws concerning the Administrative Procedure Act. The act was enacted in 1946 and is a federal statute governing how administrative agencies make grants and regulations.

“The Administrative Procedure Act also required the Working Group to seek input from the public and stakeholders, and to provide notice and a reasonable opportunity for public comment, or else issue a good-cause statement justifying the failure to do so, before issuing the Interim Values. On information and belief, the Working Group did not do so,” the suit states.