NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Big news Thursday morning out of Washington as the United States Supreme Court limited the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a 6-3 decision, the conservative majority of justices ruled The Clean Air Act does not give the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming.

“Congress did not grant EPA…the authority to devise emissions caps based on the generation shifting approach the Agency took in the Clean Power Plan,” the majority wrote, referring to an Obama-era power plant regulation.

Thursday’s ruling defined Congress as the only body that has the authority to make decisions on how to fight climate change, not the EPA.

In Normal, the Ecology Action Center promotes and helps to find ways locally for a greener environment. Executive Director, Michael Brown, said Thursday’s decision by the highest court however is a significant setback for finding a federally regulated strategy aimed at addressing climate change.

Brown said this isn’t the first time attempts at a federal climate change combating plan have failed.

Greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect are leading to a higher frequency and more severe natural disasters, according to studies cited by Brown. However, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) signed by Governor JB Pritzker last September makes Illinois a leader in renewable energy.

The plan aims to replace the use of coal and gas energy by replacing it with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

“That will have a significant benefit however not every state has similar strategies, not many do at all so that’s why we need a national strategy to address climate change because not every state is working on it like Illinois is,” Brown said. “The loss of a federal strategy to address climate change is also ruling back to when we look at the fact that the United States is actually the global leader in generating greenhouse gas emissions.”

Brown said greenhouse gasses don’t go away right away and according to NASA can last in the atmosphere anywhere from 300-1,000 years.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL, 17th District) slammed the Supreme Court’s ruling and called it a setback for farmers.

“Today, the Supreme Court ruled to harm Midwest communities. This decision is bad for the environment, bad for farming and bad for our communities’ health.

“By severely limiting the ability to address our changing climate, the Supreme Court will ultimately make farming more difficult. In recent years, we’ve seen how climate chaos destroys crops, damages land and makes recovery after a disaster that much more difficult. This will set our agricultural communities back for generations.

“Congress has already charged the Environmental Protection Agency with the job of engaging climate and industry experts to tackle the most pressing environmental issue of our time. Yet by stripping down the agency’s ability to curb carbon emissions, the Court has placed itself in the role of ‘climate expert.’

“It’s about time we let the real climate experts make decisions about the climate – and I will work to explore alternatives to restoring this important EPA role.”— Rep. Cheri Bustos

Representative Darin LaHood (R-IL, 18th District) also responded to the decision and called it a win for lawmakers.

The Supreme Court’s ruling reaffirms that it is Congress, not unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, who writes our energy laws in the United States. I will continue to advocate for an all of the above energy approach that supports my constituents, including oil, gas, renewables, and Illinois biofuels.”— Rep. Darin LaHood

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker also slammed the decision on Twitter.

“The Supreme Court just undermined the EPA’s ability to effectively regulate emissions that contribute to climate change’s disastrous effects. We know we can’t outrun or hide from climate change,” Pritzker stated.