Our Statement in Response to West Virginia v. EPA

Climate Generation is outraged by the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA, effectively limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate climate change-causing carbon emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act. A series of recent rulings demonstrate this Court’s overreach against communities, experts, and elected decision makers.

Petitioners (including several states, energy companies, and owners of coal mines) challenged whether the EPA could use any means to regulate planet-warming pollution from power plants, without express authorization from Congress saying it can do so.

“Apathy is unacceptable – we all need to participate in our democracy and support Congress to enact effective regulations, now is the time to call your elected officials,” said Kristen Poppleton, Senior Director of Programs at Climate Generation. “And don’t stop working together across our communities to address the climate crisis and improve the lives of people in our communities.”

The ruling comes on the heels of a UN report warning that the effects of climate change are worsening drastically, threatening the health and wellbeing of people across the planet. Science and justice demand we hold polluters accountable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions — the climate crisis is not a distant threat, it is here now.

Restricting the EPA’s ability, and precedent, to rein in harmful pollutants hurts communities of color and low-income communities first and worst. Black, brown and Indigenous communities are more likely to live near a power plant or other industrial facility, as well as suffer the health impacts of living near pollution.

The natural question for all of us is, “so what can we do?”

  • Talk to your friends, family, loved ones, and even strangers about climate change..
  • Vote for climate-committed candidates that understand what is at stake.
  • Contact your legislators in Congress and share your support for federal climate action.
  • Push for changes supporting a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy
  • Celebrate decision makers, utilities, and companies that are making the changes required to move our society toward a clean energy economy.
  • Personalize local climate change impacts happening in your communities by informing others and supporting progressive climate policy.

Curious to learn more about the decision? What we’re reading:
A new Supreme Court case could gut EPA power on climate change – Vox
Supreme Court restricts EPA’s authority to mandate carbon emissions – NPR

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