Stalling on climate change action is the deliberate policy of the Republican Party, and has been for a very long time. But their drive to end environmental regulation goes much further than climate change.
A case being decided right now in the Supreme Court, West Virginia vs EPA, is likely to destroy the ability of the US government to regulate the environment, particularly in any way that might slow the fossil fuel industry in its march to destroy the planet. This is one of several Supreme Court cases that will be presented to us this week and next, and this is the one which Republicans hope will solidify the right-wing ability to throttle government regulation of all sorts.
Do not miss the deep intentions here — nothing less than preserving the ability of capitalists to make more money over the need for human beings and other living things to have a safe, clean, survivable environment in which to live. The intent is to gut the ability of Congress to delegate regulations to agencies like the EPA, letting those experts decide precisely how to regulate carbon, for example. Instead, they wish to limit any interference with corporate pollution to only specifics that Congress writes directly into legislation, as if Congress will ever have the scientific expertise to do so. They wish to stall environmental regulation of all sorts, as entirely as possible.
This New York Times article is a must-read to understand the issue at hand, and how badly this will impact our ability to seek an end to the reign of fossil fuel companies and their drive to burn the planet to a crisp. This link should get you through the NYT paywall for a least a couple of weeks, by which time we’ll know for sure whether this destructive deregulation will be our path for the foreseeable future.
The case, West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, is the product of a coordinated, multiyear strategy by Republican attorneys general, conservative legal activists and their funders, several with ties to the oil and coal industries, to use the judicial system to rewrite environmental law, weakening the executive branch’s ability to tackle global warming.
Coming up through the federal courts are more climate cases, some featuring novel legal arguments, each carefully selected for its potential to block the government’s ability to regulate industries and businesses that produce greenhouse gases.
And this has been in the works for a very long time.
West Virginia v. E.P.A., No. 20–1530 on the court docket, is also notable for the tangle of connections between the plaintiffs and the Supreme Court justices who will decide their case. The Republican plaintiffs share many of the same donors behind efforts to nominate and confirm five of the Republicans on the bench — John G. Roberts, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett….
“They are teeing up the attorneys to bring the litigation before the same judges that they handpicked.”…
The right has been working to pack the Supreme Court for many years now, and the Court we have is the result of their determination and hard work. They have every intention of forcing their bleak and terrible vision of the future upon us. It’s hard to think about, but please don’t look away.
Those limitations on climate action in the United States, which has pumped more planet-warming gases into the atmosphere than any other nation, would quite likely doom the world’s goal of cutting enough emissions to keep the planet from heating up more than an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with the preindustrial age. That is the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic hurricanes, drought, heat waves and wildfires significantly increases. The Earth has already warmed an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius.
If we on the left don’t find a way to respond, forcefully, this is the future we face.