SCOTUS Decision Dangerously Narrows EPA’s Authority to Regulate Climate Pollution Amidst Dangerous Climate Crisis

Nevada Conservation League says decision calls on federal leaders to reach a deal on climate legislation

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, which would now severely limit the federal government’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, the second-largest contributor to global warming in the U.S. 

In response to the devastating decision, the Nevada Conservation League Communications Director Angelyn Tabalba released the following statement:

Following suit with other disappointing decisions, the Supreme Court is attempting to take away our fundamental rights to be healthy and safe. By limiting the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency from setting the kind of highly-effective standards on carbon emissions we need, this Court just overtly prioritized polluters over the health and well-being of our communities. 

We also recognize what this decision will mean for Black and Brown communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis who are more often exposed to higher levels of air pollution, toxic hazards, and other contaminants. 

Everyone should be troubled by this decision. It rejects 50 years of precedent that has allowed the EPA, under the authority of Congress under the Clean Air Act, to protect our people from threats of carbon pollution — an authority that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court several times. This also undermines the authority of federal agencies to establish pollution standards to better protect people and the environment. 

At a time when the climate crisis is taking lives and devastating communities, we must use every tool in the toolbox to significantly curb climate pollution and accelerate the clean energy transition. This decision calls on President Biden and the Senate to finally reach a deal on a reconciliation package with the strong climate investments passed by the House that will save families money, create good-paying jobs, and build a healthier, more just clean energy future for the long term. 

Local climate advocates will be gathering on Saturday, July 2 at 10:00 am for a rally in response to the decision. Information about the event can be found here.

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