WV CAG Statement on WV vs EPA at Climate Alliance Press Conference

The WV Climate Alliance, of which WV Citizen Action is a founding member, lifted up concerns on the terrible WV vs EPA Supreme Court ruling through a virtual press conference on July 14th.

Here is the statement our Executive Director, Gary Zuckett, gave at the press conference:

Attorney General Morrisey has done a great disservice to our state by dragging it into his lawsuit against the EPA, which may end up hobbling ALL federal agencies from carrying out their respective mandates. The current Supreme Court, packed by Mitch McConnell and the Federalist Society, has advanced Morissey’s bogus ‘major questions’ doctrine, which will haunt us for years until it can be overturned. 

We now need to expand the Supreme Court to bring it back into balance. Looking at the original intent of our founders, each justice was expected to be a ‘circuit rider’ in one of the federal circuits. We now have 13 federal circuits so it makes sense that the Court should now have 13 justices. 

Now it’s up to Congress to both expand the Court and, even before that, to give the EPA the legislative tools it needs to effectively address the climate crisis. Until we can undo the damage done by WV vs EPA we’ll need more specific policies coming out of Congress to meet these challenges effectively. Last minute negotiations are happening right now on the next reconciliation bill and we’ll need to have strong provisions  in this to begin the pushback on this decision. Senator Manchin has a major role in these deliberations and we’re counting on him to come through by supporting investments that will effectively tackle this crisis. 

Climate change isn’t something that’s going to happen at some point in the future. Climate disruption is happening right here, right now in WV, all over the country, and across the planet. Just this morning the news reported 40 people are now unaccounted for and over 100 homes damaged by flash flooding just across our southern border in Southwest Virginia. That area, including McDowell Co. WV, got a month’s worth of rain overnight and our governor had just declared McDowell Co. a disaster area because of these floods! 

Historic records on heat, rainfall, drought, hurricanes, or wildfires are being broken somewhere every day. And our wild weather will just keep getting worse until we stop pumping greenhouse pollution out of our smokestacks and tailpipes. 

Scientists are telling us the sixth mass extinction has already begun. Who will be left to record humanities extinction? I pray it doesn’t come to that! Unless we take bold action now, humankind has no guarantee that we will have a habitable planet for future generations.  We’re told by our holy books that we are the caretakers of God’s creation, but we’re fouling our planet with pollutants that will reap us a bitter harvest unless we act now to head off the worst case scenarios that science tells us are our future. Let’s build a livable, sustainable future through a just transition to a renewable energy economy. One that provides a broader prosperity and climate justice for all!

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