Twelve states have announced they're suing the Biden administration over the newly inaugurated president's Executive Orders mandating sweeping environmental regulations, an administrative overreach that the states say will drive up energy costs and "will intrude into every aspect of Americans’ lives."
Led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, the 12-state coalition argues in their lawsuit, filed Monday, that Biden does not have authority to create the policy through Executive Order and that it should have enacted through Congress.
According to the Missouri Attorney General's website, “The lawsuit, which challenges President Biden’s Executive Order 13990, titled “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” alleges that the Biden Administration did not have the authority to issue binding numbers for the “social costs of greenhouse gases” to be used in federal regulations, and that the potential stringency of federal regulations that could come from this executive order will stifle manufacturing, harm agriculture, and have serious economic impact across the country.”
The Obama administration had concluded the social cost of carbon was $50 per metric ton. Under the Trump administration, the cost was $7 per metric ton. The Biden administration is expected to set the price at around $51, the same cost as under Obama but adjusted for inflation.
The lawsuit notes that the estimated collective “social cost” for greenhouse emissions throughout the U.S. would be $9.5 trillion in 2021, “$269 billion for carbon dioxide, $990 billion for methane, and $8.24 trillion for nitrous oxide.”
The suit states, “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."
In a statement, Schmitt explained that Missouri fears mass job loss in the manufacturing, agricultural, and energy sectors.
“Manufacturing, agriculture, and energy production are essential to Missouri’s economy and employ thousands of hard-working Missourians across the state. 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,” He said. “From higher energy bills to lost jobs, this massive expansion of federal regulatory power has the potential to impact nearly every household in this state – that’s why today I’m leading a coalition of states to put a stop to this executive order and protect Missouri families.”
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, in 2019, Missouri’s agricultural industry accounted for $88 billion and employed nearly 400,000 people.
The lawsuit states, “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."
In addition to Missouri, state attorneys general from Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah have joined in the suit.