The Inflation Reduction Act isn’t just the single-largest investment in clean energy in American history. It’s also a significant pushback against this conservative-dominated Supreme Court.
The West Virginia v. EPA decision was one of the most detrimental rulings from the Court this year. To put it bluntly, the Supreme Court undercut the Environmental Protection Agency’s capabilities to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
In the ruling itself, the Court decided that the EPA cannot set standards that would require replacing fossil fuel power plants with clean energy. Without this authority, one of the most important tools in EPA’s belt to tackle the climate crisis has been severely neutered.
But Congressional Democrats refused to take this decision lying down. Instead, they incorporated into the Inflation Reduction Act an amendment to the Clean Air Act that defines carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels as an air pollutant. By doing so, the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases is now enshrined in law.
This crucial statutory underpinning should block this Supreme Court from doing even worse damage to our environment in the future – which was very much on the table after WV v. EPA.
This is the first time Congress has passed legislation that directly states its desire and permission for the federal government to shift us away from fossil fuels. SEEC Members have pulled one over against this ultra-conservative court and their attempts to roll back climate protections. Will you rush a contribution today to keep them fighting for climate progress?
Make no mistake, team, this is a huge victory for climate action and defending federal climate regulations. But this won’t be the end of the fight.
Republicans are foaming at the mouth that this amendment to the Clean Air Act stayed in the Inflation Reduction Act. They want to keep chipping away at environmental rollbacks through this Supreme Court stacked with Trump appointees. We bet they’re already drafting up challenges to this amendment in attempts to keep the EPA’s hands tied.
Friends, this is yet another example of the consequences of elections. And, if Republicans grab back Congress in November, things will only get worse.
We need SEEC members and Congress to defend and strengthen environmental protections at all costs. Will you pitch in immediately to help elect more SEEC members to Congress in 2022 so Democrats can hold — and expand — their majority?