Response to Supreme Court Curtailing EPA Authority

June 30, 2022

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in “West Virginia vs. the EPA,” Executive Director Todd Paglia said:

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court in West Virginia vs the Environmental Protection Agency is a huge step backwards in our collective ability to fight climate change. By sharply curtailing the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, the ruling comes precisely when we need work much faster to accelerate efforts at all levels, not just federal, to phase out fossil fuels to achieve the 50 percent reduction in emissions scientists say are needed by 2030.  

“For the third time in the past week, the Court has shown itself to be hopelessly out of step with what the vast majority of Americans want, and what governments around the world are doing to protect the health and welfare of the people they serve. Today’s decision makes us less safe, less protected, and more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This ruling further delays justice for hundreds of millions around the world, and for far too many that will mean justice denied. This will be especially true for marginalized communities and communities of color who are affected first and worst by climate change.

“In contrast to this Court’s continued rolling back of civil liberties and environmental protection at the federal level, most US states, national governments, and a rapidly growing segment of local governments and companies are charging ahead with efforts to phase out fossil fuels. Major cities like Los Angeles, London, Paris, Sydney, Toronto, Montreal, and more have now endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. And multinational corporations like Google, Apple, and H&M have followed the latest climate science and committed to transition their operations and supply chain to 100% renewable energy. 

“What the EPA can or can’t regulate or enforce is crucial to more than just American public health. Because the climate doesn’t care about national borders, and the EPA’s ability to check industry carries enormous implications for everyone on the planet.

“Despite this setback, we at know that a world where people and the environment are treated with respect is still possible. As bad as this decision is, what would be worse is for people to give up the fight. The best antidote to despair is action, and the climate and environmental justice movements have never been more powerful. Transformative change is within our reach and we must push onwards to a safer climate for everyone, together.”