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Supreme Court Decision May Slow Transition to Cleaner Energy

Steam billows from a coal-fired power plant Nov. 18, 2021, in Craig, Colo. The Supreme Court on Thursday, June 30, 2022, limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. By a 6-3 vote, with conservatives in the majority, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Steam billows from a coal-fired power plant Nov. 18, 2021, in Craig, Colo. The Supreme Court on Thursday, June 30, 2022, limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. By a 6-3 vote, with conservatives in the majority, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
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New York (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruling limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants could have far-reaching consequences for the energy sector — and make it harder for the Biden administration to meet its goal of having the U.S. power grid run on clean energy by 2035.

The nation has been gradually transitioning away from coal to cleaner sources of electricity such as natural gas, solar energy and wind, often because they are less expensive. Most experts don't think the Supreme Court decision in West Virginia vs. EPA will immediately reverse that trajectory.