Twelve American states have sued President Joe Biden over his first executive order aimed at tackling climate change and phasing down HFCs.

The Republican attorney generals representing these states allege Biden lacked the constitutional authority to implement new rules about greenhouse gases.

The Federal lawsuit launched last week by Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt of Missouri, said Biden violated the separation of powers clause in the Constitution because Congress, not the president, has the power to regulate. 

On his first day in the White House, Biden signed Executive Order 13990 which directed federal agencies to examine the "social cost" of greenhouse gas emissions.

But the 12 states claim assigning such values is the duty of Congress and the economic ramifications of the order will be a disaster.

"If the Executive Order stands, it will inflict hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars of damage to the US economy for decades to come," the suit reads. "It will destroy jobs, stifle energy production, strangle America’s energy independence, suppress agriculture, deter innovation, and impoverish working families. It undermines the sovereignty of the States and tears at the fabric of liberty."

Republican states involved in the suit include Arkansas, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

The White House and Department of Justice declined to comment.

Biden campaigned on being the most aggressive president on climate change, which he called "an existential threat." His goal is to decarbonize the US power sector by 2035 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Republican led states also sued the former Obama administration to stop the Clean Power Plan which was aimed at reducing fossil fuels.  The US Supreme Court upheld the challenge in 2015 and the program never took effect.

-          With USA Today.


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