07 Jul InsideWis: Court’s EPA decision aside, markets and innovation steadily at work
By Tom Still
MADISON, Wis. – The U.S. Supreme Court ruling rejecting the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to reshape the nation’s energy grid has been roundly criticized by groups that believe reining in the causes of climate change cannot wait for constitutional niceties such as congressional and state approval.
Whether they hate or love the high court’s ruling, those who believe in the urgency of climate change action should now place more trust in three forces – innovation, incentives and market adoption – that can move the dial. Wisconsin can be a poster child for all.
In a 6-3 decision issued June 30, the court said the EPA lacks the power to impose a nationwide cap‐and‐trade climate policy based on an Obama-era plan to expand such enforcement through the Clean Air Act. In 2016, the court had stayed EPA’s “Clean Power Plan,” recognizing it might not pass constitutional muster.
While some politicians still deny human activity is altering the world’s environment, many private companies and utilities are taking steps on their own within the framework of market-ready innovation, customer acceptance and government “carrot-and-stick” incentives.