What Does the SCOTUS EPA Ruling Mean for Manufacturers?
2022 will go down in the history books as a monumental year for legislative action. From the bipartisan infrastructure bill to a reinvestment in the Made in America program, the rippling effects of manufacturing-focused legislation will help the country prosper through the 2020s and beyond.
That said, not every legislative effort has received an ovation. An emissions-focused Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling in June has many manufacturers scratching their heads, wondering if established Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards are still the norm.
Recapping West Virginia vs. EPA
On a 6-3 vote in June 2022, the SCOTUS limited the scope of the EPA’s regulatory powers in the case of West Virginia vs. EPA. This decision will likely reverberate for years to come, potentially spelling delay for U.S. climate action, at a point where time is in short supply.
The Court effectively struck down the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. As the U.S. works to achieve a significant reduction in emissions by 2030, the ruling is set to affect many industries and sectors, including manufacturing.
How does this affect manufacturers and goods producers?
Post-SCOTUS ruling, the EPA now has less of a reach when it comes to issuing appropriate greenhouse gas regulations. The organization must stay within the guardrails outlined by Congress. Manufacturers must work with the EPA in good faith to find balanced, innovative power solutions that protect their competitiveness and the environment all at once.
In short, the ruling repealed broadly recognized guidelines that many manufacturers used to govern operational decision-making pertinent to climate action. With these guidelines effectively null, many manufacturers are stuck awaiting new guidelines from a new authority — or trudging forward blindly in hopes they comply with emission reduction targets.
EPA standards and authority are in question
The EPA’s role in determining emissions standards is now in question after the SCOTUS ruling, and further changes could arise. Despite this, manufacturers remain committed to a sustainable future.
For example, organizations like the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have recognized climate change as a threat. Along with 42 state partners, the organization sent President Biden a letter outlining their support for sustainability, detailing the importance of reliable, affordable electricity. They also expressed their willingness to work hand-in-hand with policymakers to develop sustainable solutions to the electric grid and energy.
While EPA standards might have fallen in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling, manufacturing remains committed to positive action against climate change.
How will emissions uncertainty affect manufacturing?
There’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding how the West Virginia vs. EPA decision will affect manufacturers. One thing is certain: Producers have a duty to stay committed to the climate change goals they’ve already created. Regardless of how the SCOTUS ruling shakes out over time, emission reduction must continue. Manufacturing is at the forefront of green initiatives that support a healthier planet.