In a 6-3 decision the Supreme Court recently overturned a 40-year ruling commonly known as the Chevron doctrine, which basically gives federal agencies latitude in interpreting ambiguous laws. 

There’s a general belief among many in Washington that elected officials and bureaucrats know what’s best for everyone and should therefore be granted unfettered rulemaking authority when it comes to managing the lives of the citizenry. Chevron has largely made that possible.

Last year’s federal register logged the second-highest page count ever, at over 90,000 pages. More than 3,000 rules and regulations were produced by agencies. The need for government to micromanage has spiraled out of control. The regulatory state has become a burgeoning behemoth, infiltrating nearly every aspect of our lives, and running completely contrary to what our framers intended.

In reaction to Chevron’s demise, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre assured the public that they will “continue to deploy the extraordinary expertise of the federal workforce to keep Americans safe.” A Georgetown University law professor lamented that the ruling is merely “the Supreme Court cutting back on agency power.” Yes, that is the point.

Before this court ruling, the Chevron doctrine had allowed laws to be loosely written by Congress who would then abdicate their responsibility to the agencies for clarifying and defining legislation. Eliminating the doctrine puts the lawmaking back into the hands of the legislative branch, where it belongs. People don’t elect federal bureaucrats; they elect representatives. 

This is good news for energy policy. The Biden administration has advanced his climate agenda with a top-down, whole-of-government approach using nearly every agency at his disposal. Several of the draconian rules orchestrated over the last few years will be in trouble.

In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finalized a rule requiring large publicly traded companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, climate action, and the financial impacts of severe weather events. Receiving significant pushback from attorneys general, industry leaders, and other related organizations maintain that the SEC is overstepping its authority. They have an even stronger case now that Chevron is retired.

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Kristen Walker is a policy analyst for the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit or follow us on Twitter @ConsumerPal.