SF Bay PSR is alarmed by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in West Virginia v. EPA that greatly undermines the EPA’s ability to regulate industrial chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health of the environment and people. SF Bay PSR agrees with the dissenting justices that Congress granted EPA clear authority to regulate toxic pollutants through laws like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
This decision, shocking as it is, is not a complete surprise. It comes in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decisions rendered by a theocratic majority whose extremist interpretation of “right-to-life” translates into cruel suppression of reproductive rights and health, while privileging the “freedom” to be conceived, born and raised in a heavily polluted environment and under threat of a mass-shooting event while at school.
The ruling is the culmination of a decades-long effort by greedy corporations, well-funded rightwing think-tanks and media outlets to limit federal government regulation of industry. It confirms the United Nation’s climate report’s findings that the biggest obstacle to tackling climate change is the fossil-fuel industry and their control over government. See our April article here.
The consequences of this ruling are serious. It will limit the EPA’s ability to protect frontline communities who are disproportionately affected by air pollution and other environmental toxics, and are mostly lower-income and communities of color. Also, it will have global impacts, as the U.S. is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases and should be leading, not hindering, the world’s climate mitigation efforts.
In California, given the preemption of already weak EPA authority by this ruling, we must demonstrate climate health leadership. We must fight much harder for a California Air Resources Board Climate Scoping Plan that will provide clean cars, transportation, electricity, and phase out fossil fuels faster. And we need to strongly support California’s Clean Cars and Clean Air Act.
We can still tackle our rapidly unfolding climate crisis. National polls show that the majority of Americans want clean air, water, and an equitable transition to a fossil-fuel-free future. We must redouble our efforts to protect our democracy by exposing industry’s malign influence on all branches of our government. Most of all, our efforts must uplift the voices and power of the majority of people who have been the most victimized by our corrupt plutocracy and its political minions, to make the fundamental changes needed for our survival. We need to stand up and fight back together.
We invite you to join SF Bay PSR’s efforts in fighting back.
1. Tell Congress to pass bold investments in clean energy, public transit, electric vehicles, environmental justice and more. Negotiations in Congress have restarted in recent weeks. Now is the time to write or call your senators and representatives.
Contact your federal representatives via email or phone here.
Hello, my name is [NAME] and I live in [CITY/STATE]. I am calling to voice my concern about the Supreme Court’s recent decision in West Virginia v. EPA that undermines the government’s ability to tackle our climate crisis. Congress must take bold climate action now. I urge my Senator [PROVIDE NAME] to use the reconciliation process to pass historic investments in clean energy and climate action that will create millions of good jobs and address systemic injustices. We are in a climate emergency– pass a climate justice bill now! Thank you.
2. And please consider continuing to support our work on this and all other critical threats to human survival by DONATING to SF Bay PSR, click here.
All of us at SF Bay PSR
The Guardian: The US Supreme Court Rules Against EPA and Hobbles Government Power to Limit Harmful Emissions
New York Times: E.P.A. Ruling Is Milestone in Long Pushback to Regulation of Business
The Guardian: UN IPCC: We Can Tackle Climate Change If Big Oil Gets Out of the Way
NPR: Supreme Court restricts the EPA’s authority to mandate carbon emissions reductions
New York Times: As Federal Climate-Fighting Tools Are Taken Away, Cities and States Step Up
New Yorker, Bill McKibben: The Supreme Court Tries to Overrule the Climate
E&E News: Supreme Court Restricts EPA’s Ability to Go Big on Climate
New York Times: Court Decision Leaves Biden with Few Tools to Fight Climate Change