Look for a Biden 'climate emergency' to be tested in court

Look for a Biden 'climate emergency' to be tested in court

Look for a Biden 'climate emergency' to be tested in court

While Joe Biden stopped short this week of doing it, at least one critic predicts it's inevitable the president will declare an emergency over climate change in the coming weeks.


President Biden, on Wednesday:

"Our national security is at stake [because] extreme weather has already been damaging our military installations here in the states, and our economy is at risk; so we have to act. As president, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger, and that's what climate change is about. It is literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger."

Speaking Thursday on the "Washington Watch" radio program, Dr. Cal Beisner, founder and national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance, stated that he has no doubt Biden will initiate a number of executive orders calling for action on alleged "climate change." When that happens, Beisner added, "we're going to see simply a multiplication of court cases challenging those orders as not authorized by any legislation put forth by Congress."

"He will, of course, claim an emergency," he continued, "but the emergency claim itself will be tested in the court. So, this is going to do a lot of good for lawyers' income – and no good for the climate, no good for the American people."

One case that may be argued involves the recent Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA. In that decision, the justices ruled the EPA did not have authority from Congress to devise emissions caps based on the generation shifting approach the agency took in the Clean Power Plan. Beisner admits he was encouraged by that ruling.

Beisner, Dr. Cal (Cornwall Alliance) Beisner

"I think the thing that we can all be the most grateful for is that we have a Supreme Court, the majority of whose members actually think that [our] Constitution means something and that it binds our federal government to acting in certain ways," he offered.

Speaking Wednesday outside a former coal-fired power plant in Massachusetts, Biden said something must done to combat extreme weather events that he believes are caused by man's use of fossil fuels:

Biden: "As president, I'll use my executive powers to combat the climate crisis in the absence of congressional action."

This, again, is why Beisner believes there will be legal disputes.

"He seems to think – if his track record is any indicator – that he has unlimited authority to do anything he wants simply by proclaiming that something is an emergency. [But] that's not our Constitution," Beisner emphasized.

"He is not our emperor; he is not our tyrant – though he seems to think that he can rule as our tyrant; [and] he is not our dictator. He is our president, elected by the people to execute the laws passed by the Congress. He has no authority to do anything else other than national defense."