Shaheen Statement on SCOTUS Ruling Curtailing EPA’s Authority to Address the Climate Crisis & Protect Public from Carbon Pollution

June 30, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today responded to the Supreme Court’s expansive ruling today in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, in which the court ruled to sharply limit the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and could curtail the ability of Congress to delegate necessary technical authority to federal agencies.  

Shaheen previously joined an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting the EPA’s authority to protect the public from harmful pollution, reduce greenhouse gases and address the climate crisis. The amicus brief also rejected spurious arguments made by congressional Republicans in their amicus brief, in which they challenged the EPA’s authority to address climate pollution. 

“The sweeping, partisan decisions emerging from the Supreme Court that overturn established precedence are having devastating consequences – from overturning Roe to undercutting our nation’s ability to respond to the climate crisis. For half a century, the EPA has been the leading agency charged with curbing dangerous pollution and protecting our communities. The EPA’s authority to address climate pollution has been clearly established and recognized by the Supreme Court – until today,” said Shaheen. “This is a significantly damaging environmental decision – the consequences will impact our health, our economy and the planet that our children and grandchildren will inherit. It’s as important as ever for Congress to step up to pass meaningful legislation to address the climate crisis and speed our transition to a clean energy economy.”   

Shaheen continued, “On a broader scale, today’s decision has impacts that could reach even beyond the EPA. From limits on car and truck pollution to food safety standards, we rely on the expertise of federal agencies to institute policies that keep us safe. Today’s decision undermines the authority of every federal agency to develop these policies, which will have far-reaching implications. Restricting the ability of federal agencies to develop regulations relying on the best science and research will greatly hamper our ability to act quickly and effectively on the most pressing issues facing our people and economy.”    

Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate for safeguarding our environment and combating the effects of climate change. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen traveled to Paris to participate in high-level discussions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference that led to the international Paris Climate Accord. She introduced the International Climate Accountability Act – legislation that would have prevented former President Donald Trump from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and directed the Trump administration to develop a strategic plan for the U.S. to meet its commitment under the Agreement. Shaheen also introduced widely praised bipartisan legislation with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to save American homes and businesses billions of dollars in energy costs and dramatically reduce the United States’ carbon footprint. Key provisions of this legislation were signed into law last year through the bipartisan infrastructure package. Shaheen is a founding member of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, which brings together an equal number of Republicans and Democrats to craft and advance bipartisan solutions to address climate change.