BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is
leading a 10-state coalition in suing to prevent the Biden Administration from
carrying out an act of executive order that will kill thousands of jobs
throughout the country and impose significant burdens on the American people.
“With the stroke of his pen – Joe Biden is bypassing our elected representatives to impose the Left’s radical, self-defeating green agenda on the American economy and people,” said Attorney General Landry. “This ‘social cost’ overreach revives an Obama-era scheme that unnecessarily forces the monetary cost of a global issue on American governments, businesses, and families.”
The “social cost of carbon” has been called “the most important number you never heard of” by economists because carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are by-products of everyday activities in America. In Executive Order 13990, the President established a “working group” of federal appointees to establish a damage value, or “social cost,” based upon global environmental damages from climate changes.
Through this executive fiat, federal agencies are required to immediately begin applying these numbers in regulatory actions and “other” decision-making – paving the way for the most expansive and expensive federal regulatory initiative in history. The order has wide-ranging impacts on decisions made by virtually every federal agency, including the Departments of Interior, Commerce, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, Environmental Protection, Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Treasury.
“Joe Biden’s executive order should alarm every American. If left unchecked, the President could use this destructive cost structure to justify almost anything,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. “Louisiana produces crucial natural and manmade resources for our nation and enjoys a rich, storied way of life. From timber and food stocks to oil and natural gas, chemical and industrial products to recreational sportsmanship and outdoor activities – nearly every aspect of our economy and culture is at risk under this unconscionable policy.”
The President’s actions illegally force this destructive cost-benefit analysis on nearly every meaningful federal action. This will fundamentally transform the entire federal regulatory structure by empowering agencies to arbitrarily assign massive cost or benefit to any activity under their authority.
“Biden's unacceptable and unauthorized executive overreach touches every part of American life: the generators powering our homes, the dishwashers cleaning our tableware, the lawnmowers cutting our grass, the firewood keeping us warm, the livestock and produce feeding our families, and every breath we exhale,” concluded Attorney General Landry. “By executive fiat, the Biden Administration is not only arbitrarily and improperly taxing American productivity and everyday life in the community; but it is also creating a scheme that can justify virtually any decision.”
In addition to Louisiana – the following states joined in the lawsuit filed this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are by-products of everyday activities in every developed economy like the production of electricity to light our homes and highways, natural gas for our buses and plant operations, farming operations, a wide variety of industrial activities, the production of cement and other construction materials, and waste disposal. They are among the most common and prevalent by-products of human economic activity.
The President’s actions improperly and illegally change the way federal decision-making is conducted, including changing the cost-benefit analysis for nearly every significant agency action. This means federal agencies could use these estimates to arbitrarily assign massive costs or massive benefits, whichever they choose, to every regulatory action, environmental impact studies, mitigation costs, and more. These values have the ability to fundamentally transform the entire regulatory structure of the federal government, as well as the way States conduct business, and Americans live.
Agricultural activities, like soil and waste management, result in roughly 75% of our nitrous oxide emissions, while 27% of methane emissions stem from livestock excretions. Methane also emits from using petroleum and natural gas, the latter of which is a significant driver in the reduction of American carbon emissions over the past decade.