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US Judge Deals Biden Huge Blow, Denies Climate Mandate

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US Judge Deals Biden Huge Blow, Denies Climate Mandate

US Judge Deals Biden Huge Blow, Denies Climate Mandate

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Since becoming the POTUS, Joe Biden has ensured there is no confusion about where he stands regarding climate change. Making it his mission to address the issue, he has passed several pieces of legislation that ensure America does its part in keeping the planet safe for future generations.

Many of the mandates are being enforced. However, one climate mandate Biden recently released has been denied by a US judge from Texas. It concerns measuring greenhouse gas emissions by state governments but may never see the light of day at this point. 

The Presidents’ Highway Climate Mandate

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Biden finalized his highway climate mandate in November 2023; the bill requires state and local transportation officials to set and measure annual emission targets. According to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, “This new performance measure will provide states with a clear and consistent framework to track carbon pollution and the flexibility to set their own climate targets.”

State Officials Were Not Enthusiastic About the President’s Bill

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The moment President Biden announced the new bill, state government officials from all over the country immediately resisted, speaking out against it. Texas Governor Greg Abbott argued that the law “overstepped its congressional authority” by issuing regulations upon state governments. There was even an argument that the bill illegally restricted the use of federal funds and violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

Texas and Biden in Court

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Texas and several other Red states took their fight against Biden’s bill to federal court, over which Trump-appointed Judge James Hendrix presided. On Wednesday, April 17, Judge Hendrix ruled against Biden’s bill, siding with the Republican states that claim the federal government does not have the authority to force states to set emissions targets for transportation.

What the Federal Government Is For

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Judge Hendrix explained in his ruling that the “performance of the Interstate/National Highway Systems” refers to “the infrastructure’s effectiveness in facilitating travel, commerce, and national defense—not environmental outputs of vehicles using the systems.” Reps. Sam Graves (R-MO.) and Rick Crawford (R-ARK.) also said, “This was a clear case of blatant overreach by the Biden Administration from the beginning, and we commend the Court for its ruling.”

The Biden’s Administration Claims

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Judge Hendrix’s decision has made many Republicans happy, but millions of Democrats and environmentalists are very disappointed. It is true many see the mandate as a form of government control, but the idea behind it was to encourage state governments to assist in reducing carbon emissions. If the bill became law, there is a high probability that it would have had an extremely positive effect on the nation’s greenhouse gases.

Gas-Powered Vehicles and the US Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Biden was spot-on when he said that gas-powered vehicles are a blight on the environment. In the United States alone, there are some 288.5 million gasoline-powered vehicles plying the roads. And according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) those vehicles release so much carbon dioxide into the air every year that they make up 30% of the nation’s total carbon emissions.

Biden Plans to “Upend the Oil and Gas Industry”

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Taking a dig at the president, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that Biden’s “unilateral decree disregards statutory mandates,” which “upends the oil and gas industry.” However, because of Biden’s many bills fighting for green energy, it’s clear that this is the president’s end goal..

Biden Agreed to Uphold the Paris Agreement

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The POTUS is trying desperately to minimize fossil fuel production and promote green energy sources because he believes these policies can help prevent the planet’s destruction. But that’s not the only reason why; he is also legally bound to do so. Shortly after his inauguration, Biden signed to rejoin the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international climate change treaty that ensures participants take tangible action to increase green energy and decrease carbon emissions. 

Biden's Fight for Green Energy Continues

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Thanks to his promise to uphold the Paris Agreement and his obvious concern for the ever-changing climate, it’s unlikely that President Biden will allow this ruling to affect his fight for clean energy. The president has also passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which is the “most significant action Congress has taken on clean energy and climate change in the nation’s history.”

The Transportation Department’s Next Steps

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While the fight to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles around the country is currently on hold because of Judge Hendrix’s ruling, Biden’s administration says it will try to find a new way to do so. Reports claim that the Transportation Department is already hard at work attempting to file a similar bill that a judge won’t be able to overturn.

Will President Biden’s Bills Be Upheld If He Loses the Election?

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President Biden introduced new legislation during his term to fight climate change, but many Americans wonder which of these bills will remain active if he loses the White House to former President Donald Trump in November. If Trump wins, it’s extremely likely that he will attempt to reverse almost every single one of Biden’s climate action plans. However, he will need approval from the federal government to do so. Will he get it or not? Time will tell.