US Supreme Court’s Ruling Limiting the EPA’s Ability to Regulate Greenhouse Gases is a Blow to Sea Level Rise Real Estate

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate the release of greenhouse gases by electrical power plants is a serious blow to efforts to fight overall global warming and the resultant sea level rise that threatens billions of dollars of real estate all along the U.S. coastline.

Scientists based their latest estimates on the amount of sea level rise U.S. coastal communities will experience between now and the end of the century on the assumption that regulators, like the EPA, would be able to force electrical power plants and other major greenhouse gas emitters to reduce their annual output. With no oversight from the EPA, the court is saying that the American public has to rely on Congress to pass specific legislation restricting emissions from individual sources. The reality of this situation is that Congress is heavily under the influence of fossil fuel — coal, oil and natural gas — producer campaign contributions, so getting meaningful regulations passed will be nearly impossible.

Where does this leave us? Quite frankly, living in a world that’s already overheating and experiencing longer, hotter and more deadly heatwaves, mega-droughts that threaten the very existence of cities in the American West, supercharged tropical storms, hurricanes and local rain events that bring devastating flooding, calamitous wildfires, and rising seas that are inundating coastal real estate.

The Supreme Court’s decision limiting the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions will accelerate global warming. This will result in faster ocean expansion and ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica and, ultimately, sea level rise at the high end of expert forecasts. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website: “Current and future emissions matter. About 2 feet or sea level rise along the U.S. coastline is increasingly likely between 2020 and 2100 because of emissions to date. Failing to curb future emissions could cause an additional 1.5-5 feet of rise for a total of 3.5-7 feet by the end of this century.”

It’s important to keep in mind that many coastal communities are already spending millions of dollars combatting the sea level rise we’re already experiencing. Every additional inch between now and the 2100 will add to the burden and damage more and more public and private real estate and infrastructure. For example, if saltwater invades the water table and fouls freshwater wells, some cities and towns will find it hard to continue to exist.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s EPA decision is dangerous for the U.S. and the entire planet. The best we can do to protect our lives and property and the lives and property of others is to vote only for candidates who who are prepared to ignore old world energy producers and join the fight against climate change, global warming and sea level rise.

Fossil Fuel Emissions Behind Global Warming and Sea Level Rise Are Roaring Back

The numbers are in, and fossil fuel emissions and global warming — drivers of sea level rise flooding — continue to head in a dangerous direction. According to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service , a non-partisan organization that tracks Earth’s temperature, 2021 was the fifth warmest year on record and the last seven years have been the warmest ever recorded. The organization also reported that the global concentration of carbon dioxide, the most plentiful greenhouse gas, continues to rise.

Adding to the troubling trend is the fact that greenhouse gas emissions rebounded at a rapid rate after the pandemic slump. The Rhodium Group released a report that found that US greenhouse gas emissions, which had been in gradual decline since about 2010, increased 6.2% in 2021. The good news, if there is any, is that 2021 levels were still 5% below those recorded in 2019.

The Rhodium group report said the switch back to coal burning for electricity — in response to high natural gas prices — was behind much of the increase in emissions. Road transportation as economic activity picked up also added to the emissions spike.

The link between fossil fuel burning, the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the increase in temperatures on land and sea to ever-worsening sea level rise flooding, heatwaves, wildfires, drought, damaging storms and other climate calamities is well established. The setback in reducing the release of greenhouse gas emissions is stalling US efforts to combat global warming as is the inability of Congress to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which includes a $555 billion investment in renewable energy, electric cars and other measures. The critical bill is largely being held back by Joe Manchin a Democratic Senator from the coal state of West Virginia.

The US, of course, isn’t the only country contributing to Earth’s greenhouse gas load. China and India, which together account for two-thirds of global coal consumption according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), show no signs of slowing down. To make matters worse, both countries insisted that last year’s United Nation’s Climate Change water-down language regarding coal consumption. They would only agree to a “phase-down” in the use of coal instead of an accelerated “phase-out”.

Our home planet, of course, was not given a seat in the negotiations, but it is, nonetheless, speaking loud and clear. Through the rapid upward trend in climate catastrophes it’s telling us: Try to gaslight Earth, get burned.

Real estate buyers, sellers, owners and agents in coastal communities who are counting on rational environmental policy changes to protect their investments and livelihoods need to get involved and vote for candidates dedicated to a rapid reduction in the use of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, to turn this thing around.

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