Supreme Court Will Not Reimpose Ban on the Use of Best Available Science to Quantify Costs of Climate Damage

Statement of EDF Director of Methane and Clean Air Policy Rosalie Winn

May 26, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

“Climate change is an urgent crisis. If we hope to protect ourselves from the worst climate damages, we need to act quickly using the best and most up-to-date science. The Supreme Court’s decision today not to reinstate an injunction on the use of that science – an injunction that was the result of a profoundly flawed decision by a lower court – allows the Biden administration to rely on the best available science and economics to address the climate crisis while the U.S. Department of Justice presents its very strong case on the issue to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.”

            - Rosalie Winn, Director of Methane and Clean Air Policy, Environmental Defense Fund  


A federal district court judge in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction in February restricting the Biden administration from using the latest social cost of carbon and other climate pollutants. These estimates reflect the best available scientific and economic analysis, based on extensive peer-reviewed information, to quantify the economic harm imposed by climate pollution. The government relies on this analysis of climate pollution harm when establishing policies.

In March a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a stay of that injunction. The judges found that the Biden administration is likely to prevail on the merits when the case is fully heard later this summer. The full Fifth Circuit later declined to reconsider the stay.

The Attorneys General for the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming then asked the Supreme Court to intervene and reimpose the lower court injunction. Today the Supreme Court declined that request.

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