Today, the United States Supreme Court effectively handcuffed the ability of the U.S. EPA to regulate environmental pollution – specifically limiting its ability to fight climate change, the most critical environmental issue of our time. In doing so, they also set a precedent to limit the authority of all federal agencies to do their jobs and protect the public good. We can’t fully know the extent of the harm this decision will cause, but it is likely to be far-reaching and devastating to our nation’s ability to fight climate change.
Just as concerning as the decision is how unnecessary it was for the Court to even take the case. It was an appeal of rules from the Obama and Trump eras that were no longer in effect, making the case moot. That the Court took the case makes our current reality very clear: The U.S. Supreme Court is acting as a conservative activist body set on redefining public policy.
Today’s decision means that cities must redouble our efforts to fight climate change. This is familiar territory for mayors. We have long been at the frontline of emissions reductions efforts and have no intention of slowing down. Meeting the scope and scale of the climate crisis will require actions at every level of government and we hope this decision inspires Congress to act swiftly to pass vital climate legislation.