Today, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in West Virginia v. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The outcome of the case could well determine whether the executive branch can regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. In anticipation of oral arguments, Earthjustice Senior Vice President of Programs Sam Sankar issued the following statement:
“The conservative supermajority of the Supreme Court is on the precipice of limiting EPA’s ability to combat climate change and protect public health. It aims to use its made-up ‘major questions’ doctrine to advance a right-wing deregulatory agenda that will tie the hands of federal agencies as they try to fight pollution and protect our families from the climate crisis.
“Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Clean Air Act to address the threats posed to our communities by industrial air pollution. Despite the broad language Congress used to grant regulatory authority to EPA, some Supreme Court Justices seem poised to rule that the law does not mean what it says, and that they get to decide what federal agencies can do to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. Today’s oral arguments demonstrate that our environmental laws are only as strong as the Justices who must uphold them. If you care about the environment, especially our ability to address climate change, you must care about the courts.”