PRESS RELEASE: Supreme Court Limits EPA Authority to Mitigate Climate Change and Pollution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

DATE: June 30, 2022 

NOTE: Press advisory 

CONTACT and QUOTES: WV Climate Alliance founder Perry Bryant: perrybryantwv@outlook.com and 304-344-1673 | Morgan King, Climate Campaign coordinator, WV Rivers Coalition: mking@wvrivers.org and 304-590-0014 

FOR MORE INFO: Morgan King at mking@wvrivers.org or 304-590-0014

 

Supreme Court Limits EPA Authority to
Mitigate Climate Change and Pollution

 

Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in West Virginia vs Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back the authority of EPA to set carbon pollution standards from power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a setback for EPA’s authority to reduce pollution and protect public health,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition and a founding member of the West Virginia Climate Alliance. “We’re concerned how this ruling may increase the burden for West Virginia communities already bearing the brunt of environmental harms, as well as stifle progress in curbing emissions to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.”

“The high court has cobbled the efforts of our EPA to address the urgent issue of our climate’s disruption by carbon pollution,” said Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of WV Citizen Action.

“This ruling takes our country in the wrong direction when it comes to addressing the urgent climate crisis and ignores the scale of what needs to be done to act now on climate,” said Lucia Valentine, Outreach Coordinator for the West Virginia Environmental Council. “West Virginia struck down a rule, the Clean Power Plan, that was never going into effect and the Biden Administration was not going to implement. The people of West Virginia stand to benefit from a transition away from coal towards clean energy. This decision takes our state, and the rest of the country, backwards.”

“Frontline communities will bear the greatest burden from this decision, as breathing dirtier air will lead to more deaths and higher public health costs,” said Morgan King, climate campaign coordinator of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will contribute to global warming and worsen the effects of climate change of which West Virginian communities are particularly susceptible, from extreme flooding to heat waves.”

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming must be kept below an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

“We know from the global scientific community that drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an essential step toward avoiding the worst impacts of climate change,” said King. “While this ruling is disappointing and a step backwards in setting standards for some of the most harmful carbon emissions that cause climate change, there are still pathways for meaningful climate action.”

“Now, EPA must enact standards for carbon emissions from power plants, Congress must act by passing the reconciliation package which includes historic climate investments, and we must vote climate champions into Congress and the State House,” said Valentine.

“Congress must now act to correct this situation or our children and grandchildren will suffer catastrophic consequences,” said Zuckett.

“Today’s ruling makes it more urgent and important that Congress and our state leaders take legislative action to mitigate climate change and protect the health of our citizens,” said Rosser.

________________

FOUNDED in 2020, the WEST VIRGINIA CLIMATE ALLIANCE is a broad-based coalition of almost 20 environmental organizations, faith-based, civil rights and civic organizations, and other groups with a focus on climate change. Members of the Alliance work together to provide science-based education on climate change to West Virginia citizens and policymakers. 

FOR MORE ON THE CLIMATE ALLIANCE, VISIT: WVClimateAlliance.org

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