The Supreme Court has just ruled to constrict the federal government’s authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the West Virginia v. EPA case. Today’s decision is not just a blow to Biden’s agenda, it’s a blow to humanity, given our slim timeframe to keep temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Guidance: We’re cautioning against politics-first framing when reporting this story. We urge journalists to foreground the global consequences of inaction on climate above near-term political battles and brinkmanship.
Background: The lawsuit was brought by coal companies and Republican-led states, who claimed the EPA did not have the authority to regulate carbon emissions. The New York Times reported that the case stems from a coordinated strategy by Republican attorneys general, conservative legal activists, and their funders, several with ties to the oil and coal industries. Many utilities, including its largest trade association, sided with the EPA and want to be regulated by them. You can find more helpful background on the case from the Brennan Center here.
Experts available for comment:
With input from Climate Nexus
- Women’s Media Center Shesource has a slate of experts available to discuss the case. You can see that here.
- Michael Gerrard | Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law | MGerra@law.columbia.edu | @MichaelGerrard | Expertise: Environmental Law, Climate Change Law, and Energy Regulation
- Kirti Datla | Director of Strategic Legal Advocacy, Earthjustice | Point of contact: Lauren Wollack email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | @kirti_datla | Expertise: Legal doctrines affecting justiciability, jurisdiction, the scope of federal power, and judicial review of agency actions
- Daniel Farber | Faculty Director, Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment, Berkeley Law | email@example.com | @dfarber | Expertise: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law
- Dr. David Michaels | Professor, George Washington University School of Public Health | Former OSHA administrator| firstname.lastname@example.org | @drdavidmichaels | Expertise: Public Health Policy, Industry Capture of Courts, Disinformation
- Richard L. Revesz | AnBryce Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, New York University School of Law | Point of contact: Derek Sylvan email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | Expertise: Environmental Law, Regulatory Policy
- Dena Adler | Research Scholar, Institute for Policy Integrity | Point of contact: Derek Sylvan email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org |@denaadler | Expertise: Regulatory decision making practices related to climate change, clean air, and environmental justice
- Jack Lienke | Regulatory Policy Director, Institute for Policy Integrity | Point of contact: Derek Sylvan email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | @jacklienke | Expertise: U.S. Clean Air Act, Federal Environmental and Administrative Law
Looking forward: This is a story that will have a number of “second day” angles and the Supreme Court plans to hear a case in the fall that could curb the reach of the Clean Water Act. CCNow will be in touch with more guidance soon.