Amid the world’s heat records and historic wildfires spreading across the West, climate activists and policy-makers who advocate aggressive control of greenhouse gas emissions already face a new type of challenge: US Supreme Court constraints.

Congress under the Clean Air Act. In the ruling, the court’s conservative majority found that the Clean Air Act permitted nothing other than direct inspection of the power plant.

It is “catastrophic” to limit the Environmental Protection Agency at a period when fossil fuel emissions must be reduced. The conservative majority would be jeopardizing the federal government’s capacity to address carbon emissions from power plants that make a large contribution to climate change.

“There’s a long road ahead for climate justice, but what we’re seeing is a Supreme Court, I’d call it” Supreme Climate Deniers,” trying to empower their own decision-making process,” said Kaya Chatterjee, executive director of the Climate Action Network.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)  stated in a response to the court’s ruling “EPA is dedicated to using the full extent of its current responsibilities to safeguard public health and dramatically decrease environmental pollution, which is in accord with the expanding clean energy economy.”

In one statement Baiden said that “The threat that the climate catastrophe poses to public health and our very existence is one that we must and will not ignore.”

It is likely that the ruling will present difficulties for Joe Biden’s climate targets, including rebuilding the grid to meet the national goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2035 and net-zero power by 2050.

In a statement, the president spoke out against the ruling, saying, “The Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA is another disastrous decision aimed at pushing our country backward. I will not hesitate to use my legal authority to protect public health and deal with the climate crisis.”

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Climate activists and organizations like these are pleading with the Biden administration and the president to use executive authority to implement policies for climate justice and increase the number of Supreme Court seats. A concise ruling would build on the plain language of the Clean Air Act, which instructs the EPA to identify the “best system of emission reduction” for power plants.

Supreme court

A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, (wikipedia)

Clean Air Act (United States)

The Clean Air Act is the United States’ primary federal air quality law, intended to reduce and control air pollution nationwide. Initially enacted in 1963 and amended many times since, (wikipedia)