Thursday, June 30, 2022
ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION IN WEST VIRGINIA V. EPA
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong issued a statement today regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency undermining the EPA’s authority to establish meaningful emission limits on carbon pollution from power plants and other industrial sources.
Connecticut joined 21 states, the District of Columbia, and six local governments in a 2019 suit challenging the Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule, often referred to as the “Dirty Power” rule. The ACE rule replaced the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which established the first-ever nationwide CO2 emission standards for existing fossil-fueled power plants—one of the largest sources of carbon pollution. When the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Trump Dirty Power rule, a coalition of Republican attorneys general and fossil fuel industry groups appealed, urging the Supreme Court to reinstate the Trump rule, and raising substantial questions about the EPA’s legal authority to establish meaningful emissions limits on carbon pollution.
“This decision unduly undermines EPA’s authority to limit emissions from existing power plants and is a major blow to federal efforts to fight climate change. This is a serious setback, but we cannot lose sight of what is at stake and what is urgently needed to fight the climate crisis. Outdated and expensive coal plants are causing enormous damage to our environment and economy, and we cannot let this decision stall our transition to clean, renewable, and truly affordable power,” said Attorney General Tong. “Like the deeply destructive decisions last week in Bruen and Dobbs, this is a radical opinion that signals a dramatic shift in the Court’s approach to long-settled precedent. I expect today’s decision is just the beginning of this Court’s efforts to undermine agency authority, not just within the EPA but across the executive branch.”