Background: Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of significantly striking the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency to set climate guardrails on polluting industries. It is a devastating blow to marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. This decision also undercuts an already underfunded and under-resourced regulatory agency at a time when we should be bolstering it.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear that we have the tools and technology to avoid a climate catastrophe. They define the largest obstacle as “entrenched power relations dominated by vested interests that control and benefit from existing technologies, and governance structures that continue to reproduce unsustainable patterns…” This case was brought by the Attorney General of West Virginia and supported by the oil and gas industry, which continues to profit from the status quo.
Statement from Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel:
“The ability of our government to cut harmful climate pollution is essential for us to meet our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and protect communities impacted by the fossil fuel industry.
“President Biden has the power to compel our federal government to take action necessary to prevent climate catastrophe. He must now declare a climate emergency, begin denying permits for oil and gas infrastructure, and direct federal agencies to manage the transition to our clean energy future in a just and equitable way.”
For More Information:
- Ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in West Virginia V. Environmental Protection Agency
- Quotation from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Page 194, line 22.