AG Joins Lawsuit Against Feds over Unlawful Climate Executive Order

Mike Seals - March 9, 2021 11:04 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has joined a lawsuit to stop the Biden Administration from forcing all federal regulators to use its calculation of the “social costs” of greenhouse gases in every agency rule making, which has major implications for Oklahoma’s manufacturing and agriculture industries.

The policy is attempting to put a dollar amount on every conceivable future harm of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Setting the “social cost” of greenhouse gases is an inherently speculative, policy-laden, and indeterminate task, which involves attempting to predict such unknowable contingencies as future human migrations, international conflicts, and global catastrophes for hundreds of years into the future,” the lawsuit reads.

Attorney General Hunter said the policy is an arbitrary rule, adopted without public input, that threatens the separation of powers under Article I, section 1 of the Constitution.

“This nonsensical policy is unconstitutional and unlawful, and if allowed to stand, will kill jobs and destroy the economy,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Among the jobs this executive order will harm are agriculture and manufacturing, both of which are vital to Oklahoma’s economy and way of life. The inflated price of the ‘social cost of greenhouse gases’ will eventually lead to higher prices for everything from gasoline to groceries. Oklahomans and Americans who are struggling with the economic impact of the pandemic will be forced to bear the costs of this destructive policy. That is why my colleagues and I are asking the court to intervene.”

The lawsuit claims the Biden Administration’s actions violate the separation of powers by encroaching on the legislative power that is exclusively vested in Congress through Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the lawsuit, the power to regulate is the power to destroy, and our Constitution does not vest in the President the unilateral authority to regulate virtually every aspect of the American economy. The lawsuit also claims that the rule is unlawful because it was adopted without any public input or independent analysis.

The executive order sets an arbitrary figure at $51 for every ton of carbon released into the atmosphere. The order also establishes a new Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, which will issue a final number by the end of the year.

The lawsuit states that even using the interim values, the theoretical social cost to the world by America’s farmers fertilizing their crops in 2020, according to the Biden Administration, was about $6.2 trillion. This means that the Biden Administration could then use this figure to justify an additional $6 trillion annually of regulation on farmers that use organic or synthetic fertilizer.

As recorded by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma is home to over 77,000 farming operations, across 34.3 million acres with annual cash receipts from crops and livestock totaling nearly $7 billion.

Manufacturers in Oklahoma employ 8 percent of our state’s workforce, including around 136,000 full time employees according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Annual output from the manufacturing sector totals over $19 billion.

Both these robust sectors of Oklahoma’s economy stand to be irrevocably harmed if the unlawful executive order is allowed to stay in place.

Read the lawsuit, here:


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