Supreme Court’s Failure in WV v. EPA Decision Means Congress Must Act Now to Save the Planet

“While this ruling intends to hamstring the federal government’s ability to regulate dangerous emissions, it does not signal the end of climate action."

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Climate and Energy

Washington, D.C. – Today the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency that will substantially hamper federal agencies from regulating climate pollution under the Clean Air Act without action from Congress. The case concerns an Obama administration rule, the Clean Power Plan, that never took effect.

In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court’s disastrous term continues to threaten the health and safety of people across the country. This decision is the latest in a string of recklessly ideological decisions that destroy long-established precedent and decades of jurisprudence.

“Since this Supreme Court has failed society and the planet, action from Congress to meaningfully address the climate crisis becomes even more urgent. Congress must tackle poisoning climate emissions at their source by curtailing new fossil fuel development before it starts. This includes halting oil and gas exports, which drive demand for expanded drilling and fracking, while raising fuel and energy costs for consumers here at home.

“Today’s decision is part of a broad-based assault on the ability of regulators to protect our air, water and climate. Long-sought by corporate polluters, industry-backed think tanks and politicians who serve monied fossil fuel interests, this decision strikes at the heart of federal experts’ ability to do their jobs.

“While this ruling intends to hamstring the federal government’s ability to regulate dangerous emissions, it does not signal the end of climate action. The climate movement must and will continue to pressure agencies and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels to enact policies that ensure a swift reduction in climate pollution and an end to the fossil fuel era. The Supreme Court will not stand in the way of the fight for a livable planet.

“This case, however broadly it might be interpreted, is irrelevant to concrete action that protects communities and this planet at the local and state levels. The climate and anti-fracking movements have won substantial victories, and will continue to do so despite the decrees from a reckless, far-right Supreme Court.”

Contact: Seth Gladstone – [email protected]