Democrats, environmentalists slam 'catastrophic' Supreme Court ruling curbing federal climate powers


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Democrats and environmental groups quickly condemned the Supreme Court decision Thursday for curbing federal regulatory powers related to climate issues.

The high court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had limited powers in regulating emissions, adding that the agency exceeded its authority when it issued a plan to restrict power plants in 2015 during the Obama administration. Proponents of strict regulations, though, said the ruling would severely handicap the federal government's efforts to prevent cataclysmic climate change.


"Catastrophic. A filibuster carveout is not enough," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted. "We need to reform or do away with the whole thing, for the sake of the planet."

Fellow "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., added that the decision "flies in the face" of the law and "basic morality."

"The decades-long fight to protect citizens from corporate polluters is being wiped out by these MAGA extremist justices," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted. "Every Republican who helped seat these justices is complicit."

"It's all the more imperative that we soon pass meaningful legislation to fight the climate crisis," Schumer continued.


House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., also expressed their dismay following the decision Thursday. Both Democratic leaders have led efforts to push aggressive climate policies.

"Make no mistake, this decision—and all of the decisions this week—will be directly responsible for the harm and deaths of countless Americans," Grijalva said. "And while there’s no question that this GOP takeover will hurt everyone, we know that poor communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities will be hurt the most."

The Arizona Democrat added that, with the decision, the Supreme Court had "sentenced our planet to death."

"Today’s decision makes a mockery of the clear separation of powers outlined in our Constitution and subverts decades of settled law," Pallone said in a statement. "The Clean Air Act is emphatically clear that EPA has both the authority and the obligation to protect public health and regulate dangerous air pollution like greenhouse gases."

"The Supreme Court’s blatant dismissal of the will of Congress is an alarming display of hubris, the consequences of which will be felt far beyond this case," he continued.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., tweeted that the "planet is on fire, and this extremist Supreme Court has destroyed the federal government’s ability to fight back." She said the ruling was the latest proof the court was facing a "legitimacy crisis."

"We don’t want dirty air, extreme weather, and climate chaos. But you know who does? Fossil fuel companies," Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., tweeted. "The extremist, right-wing Supreme Court majority is again doing fossil fuel executives’ bidding at the expense of judicial precedent, common sense, and our shared future."

Meanwhile, environmental groups also chimed in, saying the decision proved "the system is rigged."

"I am heartbroken and enraged. Today, it is hard to believe that our government will ever do anything to combat climate change," Sunrise Movement spokesperson John Paul Mejia said in a statement. "Our hearts are with young people all across this country who are crying out for meaningful action on the existential crisis of our time."


"Decisions like today’s ruling in WV vs. EPA make it clear just how much the system is rigged against us," he continued. "This decision threatens the government’s ability to stop the climate crisis, and it hands over more power to corporate executives."

The League of Conservation Voters, another green group, said the decision "will jeopardize our communities and planet in favor of polluters and their far-right allies."

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