SF Baykeeper Statement: SCOTUS Issues Decision Gutting Federal Government Regulatory Oversight

Jun 30, 2022

Oakland, CA—The United States Supreme Court today released its ruling in West Virginia v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, which guts the EPA's authority to regulate climate-disrupting carbon pollution from power plants. The court also cut back the authority of regulatory agencies across the board, citing the "major questions" doctrine, which could likely lead to rollbacks in protections for everything from clean drinking water and workplace safety, to internet access.


In response, Baykeeper senior attorney Eric Buescher issued the following statement:


"The Supreme Court's EPA decision today is a judicial power grab that appears specifically designed to render the federal government dysfunctional, and to undercut its traditional role of protecting the health and well-being of the people and the environment. 


"Unfortunately, this wide-ranging decision is only one of many this term that will inflict damage to the rule of law, individual liberty, and our democracy. Going forward—for anyone who cares about clean air, clean water, individual autonomy, privacy, public health, public safety, or democratic institutions—the most frightening words imaginable may begin with: 'The Supreme Court has agreed to review.'


"While Baykeeper’s work to hold polluters accountable has always been difficult, it just got a lot harder. But thankfully, when action on the federal level might fail us, we still have California’s environmental laws to back us up.


"Elections have consequences. People who care about protecting human rights, the environment, and democracy have the responsibility to fight efforts to consolidate power into the hands of increasingly small minorities who care only about achieving the outcomes that further their personal interests—facts, law, and consequences be damned.”

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