Louisiana federal judge blocks key Biden climate change initiative
Biden signed the initiative on his first day in office
A Louisiana federal district court has halted a key climate initiative from Joe Biden that he implemented shortly after becoming president last year.
In a Friday ruling, U.S. District Judge James Cain blocked Biden’s January 2021 executive order that factored in the "social cost" of carbon emissions when creating rules regulating pollution.
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Cain sided with Republican attorneys general from energy-producing states who said the administration’s action to raise the cost estimate of carbon emissions threatened to drive up energy costs while decreasing state revenues from energy production.
The judge issued an injunction that bars the Biden administration from using the higher cost estimate, which puts a dollar value on damages caused by every additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
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President Joe Biden on his first day in office restored the climate cost estimate to about $51 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions after the Trump administration had reduced the figure to about $7 or less per ton. Former President Donald Trump’s estimate included only damages felt in the U.S. versus the global damages captured in higher estimates that were previously used under the Obama administration.
"Plaintiff States have sufficiently identified the kinds of harms to support injunctive relief," Cain’s ruling stated. "Moreover, the Court finds that the Plaintiff States have made a clear showing of an injury-in-fact, and that such injury ‘cannot be undone through monetary remedies.'"
"The Court agrees that the public interest and balance of equities weigh heavily in favor of granting a preliminary injunction," the ruling added.
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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox Business.
Associated Press contributed to this report