HARRISBURG, PA — Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Climate Caucus issued this statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling that limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions that cause climate change:
“[On Thursday], the Supreme Court voted to restrict the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate the carbon emissions that are dangerously overheating our planet. This decision strips the congressionally authorized agency of the power to address the greatest threat of our time — climate change. Going forward, the EPA will not have the authority to address any big and new environmental issues that arise without the authorization of a dysfunctional Congress to regulate in a particular sphere. In short, the Supreme Court has ensured that the EPA will be hamstrung in its efforts to protect our environment.
“We agree with Justice Elena Kagan’s observation in her dissent that the U.S. Supreme Court, with this decision, has made itself the ‘decision maker on climate policy,’ supplanting the regulatory authority of the designated expert agency, the EPA.
“Our world is under grave threat from climate change, beset by increasingly destructive hurricanes, fires, and coastal erosion causing mass migration and destabilizing the political order. Now more than ever, government agencies must be able to take action to protect and preserve our communities, our public health and our welfare.
“Tragically for our country and the world, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken the short-term view and sided with the coal industry at the expense of the welfare of the American people and the world.
“In the wake of this decision, the Pennsylvania Legislative Climate Caucus remains ever more committed to promoting legislation and policy that will allow us to uphold our constitutional responsibility to protect Pennsylvanians’ right to clean air, pure water and the preservation of the environment. The court’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA reinforces the need for local, state, and regional action on climate issues and strengthens our resolve to tackle the climate crisis together.”