Expert Alert

Supreme Court limits EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions

Associate Professor Gabe Chan

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to limit the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Associate Professor Gabe Chan provides expert comment on the implications for energy transition and climate.

Gabriel Chan, Ph.D.
“Today's Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia vs. EPA limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The ruling precludes the EPA from using its powers under the Clean Air Act (originally enacted in 1970) to comprehensively address greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, as the Obama Administration had proposed in 2015 under the Clean Power Plan and the Biden Administration had been likely to propose again. 

“The impact of this decision will be a meaningful limitation on the EPA’s ability to enact cost-effective climate policy on the timescale outlined in the Biden Administration's climate goals. However, Congress, and perhaps even more significantly, state regulators and legislators, will continue to play critical roles in supporting an equitable and cost-effective energy transition.”

Gabe Chan is an associate professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) area and a faculty associate of the Institute on the Environment. Chan's research examines policies to stimulate innovation in energy technologies and mitigate global climate change in the United States, China and internationally. 


About the Humphrey School of Public Affairs
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota is ranked as one of the country’s top professional public policy and planning schools. The School is long noted for equipping students to play key roles in public life at the local, state, national and global levels and offers six distinctive master’s degrees, a doctoral degree, and six certificate programs. Learn more at

About the Institute on the Environment  
The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment supports research across the disciplines, develops the next generation of global leaders, and builds transformative partnerships – in service of solving our world's greatest challenges. IonE’s mission is to lead the way to a future in which people and planet prosper together. Learn more at

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