The Supreme Court has reinstated, for now, a Trump-era rule that had curtailed the power of states and Native American tribes to block pipelines and other energy projects that can pollute rivers, streams and other waterways.
In a 5-4 decision, the justices agreed to halt a lower court judge’s order throwing out the rule and sending it back to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Justice Elena Kagan argued that states and group that asked for a pause of the rule did not prove that it would cause “irreparable harm” and said the court should have allowed the appeal to proceed.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor also dissented.
The Biden administration has said it intends to rewrite the rule.
Work on a revised rule has begun, but the administration has said a final rule isn’t expected until spring 2023.
The Trump-era rule will remain in effect in the meantime.