Wyden, Merkley, Rosenblum dismayed by Supreme Court ruling that limits EPA ability to curb power plant emissions

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley,
D-Ore., and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum reacted with dismay to
Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limited how the nation’s main
anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from
power plants.

First, Rosenblum’s statement:

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt another severe blow to our
climate today in a case that addresses the Obama Administration’s Clean Power

“Today’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA—which
hamstrings the Environmental Protection Agency in its ability to address
greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under section 111(d) of the federal
Clean Air Act—is deeply disturbing. That’s because reducing power plant
emissions is an essential part of addressing our climate crisis,” said Oregon
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Oregon has been involved in this litigation over the EPA’s
right to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants since 2015. Together
with a coalition of states, Oregon successfully challenged the Trump
Administration’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation
limiting emissions from existing power plants.

What makes this radical act by the Court so blatant: There
is no federal rule currently in effect for coal companies and Republican-led
states to challenge—the Clean Power Plan had never gone into effect. Perhaps
more telling: Not a single power company petitioned the Court for review. In
fact, several of the nation’s biggest power companies opposed the review.

“This ruling,” said Rosenblum, “is another reminder we are
dealing with a new Supreme Court where a majority of the justices have
demonstrated little regard for past legal precedent. This chilling ruling
curtails the federal government’s ability to protect us from greenhouse gases
and carbon emissions under this part of the Clean Air Act. I will continue
to work hand-in-hand with like-minded state AGs on strategies to mitigate
climate harms in a comprehensive manner at both the federal and state levels.”

“We will not be derailed,” Rosenblum added.  “Our
future—and our children’s and grandchildren’s—depends on stepping up this
critical work and never giving up.”

Sen. Ron Wyden’s statement:

“The Supreme Court’s effort to protect polluters that spew
poison into our air and water continues apace. The Republicans on the Supreme
Court are not going to allow any meaningful administration efforts to combat
climate change. It’s crystal clear. The only way to tackle this problem is
through congressional action, which is why it’s so important that Congress
pass our clean energy tax credit package.”

Merkley: Supreme Court Decision Guts EPA’s Authority to
Combat Climate Chaos

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senator
Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after the US Supreme Court released
their decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“The American people don’t want dirty air, extreme weather,
and climate chaos. But that is what the right-wing Supreme Court majority is
forcing on us by once again doing fossil fuel executives’ bidding, even at the
expense of judicial precedent, common sense, and our shared future.

“Air pollution is a lethal threat, which is why Congress
passed a law giving the EPA the responsibility for reducing pollution. Fossil
fuel companies may want to prioritize their profits ahead of kids’ health,
farmers’ livelihoods, working families’ homes, and our national security—but
it’s unconscionable for justices handpicked by the Federalist Society to go to
extreme lengths to help them do it. It’s particularly egregious that the
Court’s conservative majority would violate centuries of precedent by going out
of its way to consider this case when there’s no pending EPA rule to even
strike down.  It’s a testament to how far they will bend the rules to
serve the corporate interests who financed their dark money confirmation
campaigns, and to how far they have dragged down the once-great institution of
the Court.

“While climate chaos is an existential threat to our way of
life, this decision is about even more. It’s the latest in a long line of
dangerous decisions by an extremist Court to roll back fundamental protections
for Americans. The Supreme Court is replacing government ‘of, by, and for the
people,’ with ‘of, by and for the powerful.’ Today’s decision is an
egregious giveaway to powerful corporations at the expense of the people, but
we will not stop fighting to protect our health, our democracy and our future.”

Merkley – a member of the Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee – joined more than 190 Congressional Democrats in submitting
an amicus brief
 to the Supreme Court that supported the EPA’s
authority under the Clean Air Act to protect the public from harmful pollution,
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and address climate chaos. 

Today, in response to the Supreme Court ruling in West
Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon
Department of Environmental Quality
 Director Richard Whitman has
issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court limiting EPA’s
authority to regulate emissions from power plants does not directly affect the
critically important work Oregon and the Department of Environmental Quality
are doing to reduce carbon emissions in this state.

“DEQ, through the Climate Protection Program, the Clean
Fuels Program, vehicle standards, electric vehicle incentives, landfill
standards and other programs, remains fully on track and meeting our part of
the climate challenge. These programs are based on authority granted by the
Oregon legislature rather than by the U.S. Congress and as a result, are not
affected by the West Virginia v. EPA decision. Furthermore, the Oregon
legislature has acted to curtail carbon emissions from power plants that supply
electricity to Oregonians, and this state program is also unaffected by today’s

“In short, Oregon, along with other partner states, will
continue to lead the nation in demonstrating how to combat climate change. What
the court’s ruling does do, however, is create an uneven playing field across
the country, with some states shouldering the weight of responsible climate
actions and others not doing so. Addressing that inequity will ultimately
require Congressional action to move the nation forward as a whole to meet our
global responsibility for climate action.”