American Lung Association and American Public Health Association Respond to West Virginia v. EPA Decision

In response to the announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA, the American Lung Association and American Public Health Association issued the following joint statement: 

“Climate change is a health emergency and fossil fuel-fired power plants are driving climate change. Power plants pollute the air we breathe, emit toxics including mercury, arsenic and dioxin and cause health harms nationwide. 

“The Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority and responsibility of addressing air pollution that threatens public health and welfare. This includes the obligation to regulate the greenhouse gases from power plants and other sources that drive climate change. 

“Today’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA is disappointing, but the clear fact remains that robust actions are needed to protect public health from climate change. 

“While today’s decision narrows EPA’s pathway to address greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, we call on the agency to quickly write a new rule that maximizes emissions reductions. The nation cannot afford further delays to address the climate crisis. 

“We also call on EPA to move forward with the urgent set of regulations under consideration that are not affected by today’s decision. EPA has clear authority to finalize much-needed updates to national air pollution standards and limits on polluting sources, including limits on emissions from the power sector. 

“We reiterate our call on Congress to immediately pass much-needed climate investments. Spurring a nationwide transition to clean, non-combustion electricity, zero-emission vehicles and environmental justice is more critical than ever. 

“This consolidated case is an appeal of a case brought by the American Lung Association and the American Public Health Association, represented by Clean Air Task Force. We filed suit to ensure that EPA followed the Clean Air Act’s requirements to protect public health from air pollution, including climate change.  

“Despite today’s decision, the urgency of climate action is greater than ever, as are the immediate health harms to people nationwide. Our organizations and the broader health community stand committed to supporting strong policies to address the climate crisis at the federal, state and local levels.” 

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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