WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“Today, the Supreme Court has issued yet another blow to our democracy and the rights of future generations. With this decision, the Court once again overturned a significant precedent, this time from Massachusetts v. EPA, gutting the administration’s regulatory authority and cutting it off from the most powerful tools it needs to combat climate change.
“The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated. Already, the United States is behind schedule when it comes to lowering emissions and deploying renewable energy due to the policies of former President Trump and decades of Republican obstructionism in Congress. But now that the EPA cannot enforce the Clean Air Act, our already narrow path to meeting President Biden’s goal of halving carbon emissions by 2030 is even narrower. Polluters will be able to destroy our lands and waters and poison our communities with impunity. Without federal regulation and enforcement, we cannot ensure that environmental justice communities — those living on the frontlines of the climate crisis, disproportionately Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income neighborhoods — will experience further harm. This opinion will also have ramifications beyond the EPA, hobbling the regulatory power of agencies across the federal government. From today, the duly elected presidential administration can no longer actually use the tools of the executive to enact the agenda the people voted for.“We cannot accept defeat. The administration has taken steps to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to speed the production of renewable energy technologies, and we need them to double down on climate action. In our Progressive Caucus agenda, we have identified a number of actions that can, and must, be pursued in light of this decision: ending fossil fuel subsidies, ending financing for fossil fuel infrastructure overseas, and declaring a national emergency to put the full power of the administration behind renewable energy. Congress must also meet this moment with a renewed sense of urgency. There is broad consensus among Democrats in both chambers for climate action, and we are running out of time to pass it. We must pass legislation clarifying the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions, the Stop Corporate Capture Act to improve the regulatory process and ensure it works for the American people, and we must finalize a reconciliation bill with clean energy investments this month.”