Once again, the Supreme Court today decided to further its conservative agenda at the expense of people and the planet. Today’s ruling kneecaps the EPA’s powers to set the aggressive policies and regulations our country needs to fight climate change and to protect frontline communities from polluting industries. By ruling that the EPA only has extremely limited authority to regulate carbon dioxide from coal and gas-fired power plants, the court chose to side with Big Oil and other corporations, thereby endangering millions of lives, especially in Black, brown and Indigenous communities where polluting corporations have concentrated toxic and extractive projects and facilities.
West Virginia v. EPA was brought forward by coal industry executives and right-wing politicians desperately seeking to disrupt climate action and to cripple the EPA’s ability to do its job. But the extent of damage from this ruling does not end with shattering our bedrock environmental laws, it foreshadows what the polluters and extremist politicians behind West Virginia v. EPA are plotting: to undermine all federal agencies’ fundamental authority to develop policies that protect our public health, safety, and welfare.
There is too much at stake, especially for Black, brown, and Indigenous communities who are already harmed first and worst by climate chaos and toxic pollution fueling climate change. Today’s Supreme Court decision and its dangerous, anti-democratic agenda will further exacerbate the crises Black, brown, and Indigenous communities are already facing and will harm all of our communities. We must oppose this ruling at all costs. Protests, lawsuits, executive actions, elections—no tactic must be off the table, as the survival of our communities and organized society depends on our opposition.