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Rulings in favor of oil and gas

Alito has served as a justice of the Supreme Court since Jan. 31, 2006. Supreme Court justices are not legally bound by a code of ethics but are required to file financial disclosures under the Ethics in Government Act.

They also have the choice to recuse themselves from cases where there’s a potential conflict of interest, which Bloomberg reports Justice Alito has done so dozens of times on account of his stock holdings.

Before the lease agreement between his wife Martha and Citizen Energy III became active last year, Justice Alito listed “mineral interests” worth between $100,001 and $250,000 in his financial disclosures, according to The Intercept.

Justice Alito had previously heard a number of environmental cases, many of which ended up bolstering the energy industry, although none implicated Citizens Energy III.

For instance, in 2015 Justice Alito ruled in favor of Oklahoma-based Oneok, one of the largest suppliers of natural gas in the country, in its fight against Learjet. The ruling staved off an attempt to block state antitrust laws from being applied to natural gas companies under the Natural Gas Act.

Oneok runs an active natural gas pipeline through the Alito plot, according to The Intercept.

In 2021, Justice Alito supported a ruling that allows companies with federal backing to exercise eminent domain in the seizure of state property — aiding pipeline development across America.

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Action against the EPA

Justice Alito has supported two major rulings against the EPA recently.

Last year, he backed a conservative chorus in a landmark decision against the Clean Air Act in West Virginia v. EPA, which fenced the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

In May 2023, Justice Alito wrote a majority opinion in Sackett v. EPA, which ruled that tens of millions of acres of wetland were no longer protected by the Clean Water Act.

The ruling caused outrage among environmentalists and scientists. Even President Joe Biden released a statement saying the ruling took America “backwards.”

“It puts our nation’s wetlands — and the rivers, streams, lakes and ponds connected to them — at risk of pollution and destruction, jeopardizing the sources of clean water that millions of American families, farmers and businesses rely on.”

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Bethan Moorcraft is a reporter for Moneywise with experience in news editing and business reporting across international markets.

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