Environmental Groups Decry Supreme Court Ruling Weakening EPA Authority on Climate, Call for State Action


June 30, 2022

Deborah Camiel | (818) 299-3656 | deborah@50p1.com

Environmental Groups Decry Supreme Court Ruling Weakening EPA Authority on Climate, Call for State Action

2022 Clean Air Initiative Addresses California’s Top Two Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

LOS ANGELES, CA – In response to today’s Supreme Court ruling on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, which stripped the federal agency of the power Congress gave it to curb greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, the Clean Air California coalition issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court’s decision has dealt a blow to our federal government’s ability to keep climate change from getting even worse and makes it even more critical that states act now. California can lead by passing the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act on the ballot this November to address our state’s top two sources of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution: wildfires and transportation.”

The Clean Cars and Clean Air Act will curb the state’s largest sources of air pollution by investing nearly $100 billion over the next 20 years to prevent wildfires and jumpstart our transition to clean transportation. Climate change is hitting our state hard: more wildfires, worsening droughts, and extreme heat that cost lives, destroy property, and hurt our economy. These impacts will only grow more severe, which is why Californians must come together in support of this Act.

Elected leaders across the state were quick to condemn the Court’s retrograde decision. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said, “Climate change is already impacting the lives of Oaklanders, especially our low-income and Black and brown communities, who feel its effects most severely. Now, the Supreme Court’s backward-looking ruling has gutted the power of the EPA, a longtime and effective ally in the fight against climate change. SCOTUS just gave the authority to make holistic environmental policy to a Congress that is at a stalemate on almost every critical issue we face.

“Thankfully, individual states can step into the breach. California can and must act to curb one of the most immediate and dire threats of our time. This November we have an historic opportunity to dramatically reduce air pollution, a huge contributing factor to climate change, by voting in favor of the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act. While this ruling is upsetting, it’s not the end of our fight for a healthy environment. Passing the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act should be our first priority. ”

“This is a terrible decision that sets us back as a country and severely undercuts the EPA’s critical efforts to mitigate climate change,” added Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’re at a crucial moment and — with our federal government’s ability to act limited by today’s extreme ruling — it’s more important than ever for us to act.

“This November, there’s only one climate change measure on our ballots here in California and we need to throw our full support behind it. The Clean Cars and Clean Air Act is a needed first step to protect the health of our environment and our communities most impacted by emissions and the effects of climate change.”

The Clean Air California coalition estimates that nearly $100 billion in funding will be generated by the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act. Funding will come from a small 1.75% tax on annual income over $2 million, so only the richest 0.1% of Californians will pay, not families struggling to get by. Revenue and programs will end after reaching an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions versus 1990 levels or after 20 years, whichever comes first.

Clean Air CA environmental leaders are available for comment on today’s ruling. Please contact Deborah Camiel at 818-299-3656. 

For more information about Clean Air California, visit www.cleanairca.org. 

Clean Air California is a growing coalition of environmental groups, firefighters, labor, public health advocates and businesses committed to achieving clean air in California. The group includes the American Lung Association, California Environmental Voters, the State Association of Electrical Workers – IBEW, Lyft, Natural Resources Defense Council, and CAL FIRE Local 2881.