Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on West Virginia v. EPA Ruling
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency decision, which ruled that the EPA does not have the authority to regulate carbon emissions:
“In 1970, the Clean Air Act authorized the federal government to take necessary action to limit air pollution and protect our planet. For 52 years, Congress has granted the EPA the authority to carry out the provisions of the Clean Air Act, which has saved trillions of dollars as well as thousands of lives every year. Today, the Supreme Court stripped the EPA of its ability to enforce this vital climate legislation.
“The Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA will accelerate our planet’s collision course with climate catastrophe. Our planet faces an existential threat, and the Court has undermined our government’s ability to combat it. The Court has made a conscious decision to act against the will of the human race, not to mention the American people. It has set our nation backward in the fight against the climate crisis — a fight we were losing to begin with.
“This is not only a decision with dire consequences for the future of our planet — it’s a decision that the Court had no right to make in the first place. The plaintiffs in this case challenged the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era policy proposal that never became law. In other words, the Supreme Court has abused its power by handing down an opinion on a law that does not exist. Anyone who remembers their high-school civics class can tell you that the Supreme Court’s purpose is to interpret the constitutionality of existing laws, not shape the future of federal policy based on six Justices’ personal beliefs.
“Today is not the first time in recent months where the Court has expressed an eagerness to overturn half a century of legal precedent. We saw this in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision, where the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and we’ve seen it today. The Supreme Court has become an overtly political body, where a handful of right-wing activists masquerading as nonpartisan administrators of justice have the unchecked power to impact the lives of every single person in this country.
“If nothing else this decision is a reminder of the desperate need for climate action and court reform. It’s time for a Green New Deal. It’s time to pass the Judiciary Act. It’s time to invest in our democracy, our planet, and our children’s future.”