Statement: Supreme Court hamstrings EPA’s ability to tackle climate change

Media Contacts

ATLANTA– The Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision on the West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) case Thursday, severely limiting the EPA’s authority to regulate climate pollution from power plants. Despite the fact that the Biden administration has yet to propose rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the Court issued a decision that severely limits the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon from power plants, holding that unless expressly delegated, that authority belongs to Congress. 

Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center recently released a factsheet listing the 100 American power plants that spew the most climate change-causing pollution into the air. Georgia is home to three of the top 100 most polluting power plants. Electricity production is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. 

In the dissenting opinion, Justice Elena Kagan wrote, “Today, the Court strips the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the power Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.’”

In response, Environment Georgia Director Jennette Gayer issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court just made the monumental task of cleaning up our air and reducing climate-warming pollution much, much harder. Georgians count on the EPA to protect our air and environment. Now that the Court has put a stable climate even further from reach, state and local leaders must seek out other ways to reduce emissions and secure a clean and healthy future.”