A new low for the High Court
In its recent rash of seriously dangerous decisions on a variety of important issues (abortion, concealed weapons restrictions, separation of church and state), the Extreme Court of the United States has clearly stepped over the line of judicial activism.
By far the most egregious and potentially damaging ruling was West Virginia v. the Environmental Protection Agency, which could tie the hands of our government to do something about the climate crisis.
Sorry, ladies. I know Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization set women back a century in their quest to rise up from second-class citizenship, but with the EPA ruling we’re talking about the future viability of the planet.
At issue is President Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Act, which empowered the EPA to require power companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching from fossil fuels including coal and methane gas to renewables namely wind and solar. Fossil fuel moguls such as Charles Koch have been fighting these restrictions since.
SCOTUS saw it as a separation of powers issue. They ruled an executive branch bureaucracy like the EPA shouldn’t have the authority to make such financially significant rules such as that without “clear congressional authorization.”
Good luck with that! Congress has been dysfunctional for many years now. Can you imagine the backlog that’d be created if they had to rule on every action the EPA saw necessary? Congress created the EPA to get decisions like that off their plate.
I, too, would like to see the powers of the executive branch reined in, but this isn’t the time or the circumstances. We have eight years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before scientists say we’ll be facing even more catastrophic climate conditions. We need an independently functioning EPA now.
Fred Malo Jr.