Monday, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed suit against President Joe Biden’s administration over a massive $9.5 trillion expansion of federal regulations through an executive order dictating the “social cost” of greenhouse gases, threatening a devastating impact on Indiana households and nearly every aspect of the nation’s economy. The lawsuit was filed by a coalition of 12 states, led by Missouri.
“Since January, we have witnessed an unprecedented level of federal overreach. And now, we have yet another egregious example as President Biden attempts to regulate virtually every aspect of the American economy,” said Attorney General Rokita.
When federal agencies set forth and enforce environmental regulations, they must determine to what extent the regulations will reduce the costs imposed by pollutants.
With President Biden’s executive order, federal agencies must now increase the regulatory burden to offset new estimates of the “social cost” imposed by carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all of which surround nearly every facet of productive human activity.
“Social cost” refers to the supposed impact of these greenhouse gases on such attenuated phenomena as poverty, public health, human migration, and even war.
The Biden administration has now set these “social costs” at $9.5 trillion and has said that all federal agencies “shall use” that figure.
“As the suit explains, imposing the current estimated regulatory costs of $9.5 trillion—roughly half America’s annual economic output—would cancel almost half the income of every household in America,” said Attorney General Rokita.
The lawsuit, which challenges President Biden’s Executive Order 13990, titled “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” alleges that the Biden Administration lacks the authority to dictate the “social cost” of greenhouse gases that agencies must use for federal regulations, and that the stringency of resulting regulations will stifle manufacturing, harm agriculture, and impose serious economic impact across the country.
Two industries that will be significantly impacted by President Biden’s executive order, manufacturing and agriculture, are foundational to Indiana’s economy. According to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana has the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation. Agriculture contributes an estimated $31.2 billion to the economy.
The suit states, “In practice, this enormous figure will be used to justify an equally enormous expansion of federal regulatory power that will intrude into every aspect of Americans’ lives—from their cars, to their refrigerators and homes, to their grocery and electric bills. It will be used to inflict untold billions or trillions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy for decades to come. This regulatory expansion will stifle energy production, strangle America’s energy independence, suppress agriculture, destroy millions of jobs, deter innovation, and impoverish millions.”