For immediate release
Contact: Riikka Pohjankoski, [email protected], 713.589.7079
June 30, 2022 – Today, the U. S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of West Virginia v. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a 6-3 majority, the Court stated that the EPA does not have the current broad authority to regulate future carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Instead, due to a very narrow reading of the Clean Air Act, such authority would require clear delegation from Congress itself.
Though the decision could have been more far-reaching, it effectively restricts the authority of the EPA to regulate a type of air pollution that is dangerous to public health and to the climate.
In Texas, coal-fired power plants are responsible for over one-quarter of all carbon emissions in the state, a greenhouse gas that fuels climate change and can lead to extreme weather events including our current heat wave. One such plant is in our backyard: The W.A. Parish plant in Fort Bend County. This plant alone is one of the dirtiest power plants in the country, and its pollution is estimated to be responsible for 177 premature deaths annually.
In response, Air Alliance Houston Executive Director Jennifer Hadayia issued the following statement:
“The government has an obligation to protect public health and the environment. Today’s ruling – on an EPA plan that was never even implemented – tells the public that industry’s concern for profit and power even in the future are more important than our climate crisis and its impact on people’s health. Now, the focus must turn to passing strong federal legislation that allows the EPA to regulate air pollution fully and from all sources, a mission that the vast majority of Americans support.”
Tonight, the EPA is holding a listening session about power plants like W. A. Parish. We encourage concerned community members to join us (details below). Despite the SCOTUS ruling, the EPA is committed to hearing our ideas for addressing the public health impacts of air pollution and climate change.
EPA Listening Session on Power Plants and Community Health
Tonight, 6:30 PM
Join in person: Fort Bend County Justice Center
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469
3rd Floor Conference Room
Join via Zoom: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1610059334
Air Alliance Houston is a non-profit advocacy organization working to reduce the public health impacts from air pollution and advance environmental justice through applied research, education, and advocacy. For more information and resources, please visit www.airalliancehouston.org.