Decision shows need for stronger U.S. climate leadership.  

June 30, 2022, Washington, D.C.-Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case West Virginia vs. the Environmental Protection Agency, which severely limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) authority to curb greenhouse gas emissions. 

EarthRights International Director of Strategy and Campaigns Keith Slack issued the following statement: 

“By limiting the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, the Supreme Court has effectively given polluters permission to trash the planet on which we all depend. We have a narrow window to avoid climate catastrophe and must take immediate steps to curb carbon emissions. 

“Across the U.S., we see communities grappling with the threats imposed by fossil fuels. The climate crisis particularly threatens Indigenous communities who are rightly rising up to defend their livelihoods and resources. With this ruling, these communities will be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the U.S’s abilities to meet its international climate commitments will be further undermined.

“Ultimately, our courts should be used to right wrongs, not to set climate policies or preempt future climate action. Today, the Supreme Court has signaled that its loyalties lie not with the people but with polluters. 

“It’s time for stronger local and federal action on climate change. Congress should pass meaningful climate legislation. We must also ensure that Indigenous and frontline communities are at the center of climate action. This means protecting Indigenous land rights, particularly against fossil fuel, large hydropower projects and deforestation, and ensuring their rights to oppose extractive projects without fear of recrimination.” 

Kate Fried, EarthRights International
(202) 257.0057