Supreme Court Decision on WV vs. EPA puts WNY Communities at risk from Environmental Harms

Supreme Court Decision on WV vs. EPA puts WNY Communities at risk from Environmental Harms

Clean Air strongly condemns the partisan decision from the US Supreme Court on West Virginia vs EPA. The decision sets back our movements for a Just Transition by limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate fossil fuel emissions and future cleaner energy production. This is a dark day for our country. 

Our communities are clear: we need a Just Transition away from fossil fuels towards green, family and community sustaining jobs that protect public health and the planet. In 2012, the Huntley Alliance heard the death rattle of the larger coal industry and worked hard, together, to form a plan and vision for the impending closure of the plant. When the Huntley coal fired power plant was set to shut its doors in 2015, our communities were ready with a robust plan to protect our people. In short, we knew that a transition was inevitable, but justice was not. 

The West Virginia vs. EPA decision today is a major step backwards for our movements for climate and environmental justice, and our larger need for a Just Transition. The decision prolongs the life of dying industries and delays the urgent need for our communities to plan for and build real solutions for clean, green and family sustaining jobs.  Federal agencies’ authority and ability to regulate and enforce environmental laws is critical for our communities. Without robust authority, fossil fuel interests will continue to fill our peoples’ lungs with toxic and dangerous chemicals while they line their pockets and pad their bottom lines. The decision today severely limits the EPA’s ability to regulate fossil fuel emissions, especially from coal related industries, which will have a devastating and dangerous impact on our people. 

Furthermore, the Supreme Court decision continues to plunge us deeper down their toxic sludge slippery slope into the fascist right-wing and 1% corporate agenda. The decision on West Virginia vs. EPA sets up precedent for the Court to strip away federal agencies’ ability to enforce any federal laws and regulations and instead leave governing to the Court and their wealthy fossil fuel backers. This clear disregard for dignity, health, and protection demonstrates that the Court’s decisions are not motivated by the desire to “save lives”. Rather, the Dobbs and West Virginia decisions are about control of people’s bodies, and both work together to establish even more dangerous legal precedents moving forward. 

We are in the midst of a Global Climate and Extinction crisis, and we hear more and more stories of catastrophic flooding, wildfires, and excessive heat waves every day across the nation and the globe. We know that poor and working class Black, Indigenous, People of Color and white communities will be hit first, worst and hardest from the climate crisis. Locally, this looks like hotter days throughout the year, more major rain and flooding events, and the ongoing public health crises related to our exposure to hazardous waste and toxic pollution. Western New York has some of the highest concentration of hazardous waste and point source pollution sites in New York, including many that are regulated by the EPA. Any cuts to the EPA’s ability to regulate pollution will be devastating to the health and future of our people. 

As we continue to fight for health and justice in Western New York, we know that this decision will have an immediate and deadly impact on the lives of our members and those living in environmental justice communities around the country. We will continue to fight for federal action, but we also need our local and state officials and agencies to step up to protect all New Yorkers. 

Today, Governor Hochul released a statement where she proclaimed that New York “will strengthen our nation-leading efforts to address the climate crisis, redouble efforts with sister states, build new clean energy projects in every corner of the state, and crack down on pollution harming the health of many New Yorkers”. Words are nice, but we need her to put OUR money where her mouth is and take immediate action. 


Take action to protect public health and the environment! 


  • Make a sustaining donation to Clean Air so that we can continue to do our fight for health and justice in WNY and beyond. 
  • Submit a public comment TODAY on the NYS CLCPA Draft Scoping Plan and push for full and robust implementation before the deadline tomorrow – CLICK HERE to use NY Renews’ easy toolkit by 5pm tomorrow, Friday July 1!
  • CLICK HERE to tell Governor Hochul to Stop the Crypto Industry from Frying the Planet and sign our bill into law!
  • Tell Speaker Heastie to prioritize bringing the Build Public Renewables Act to a vote in 2023 so that we the people can be in charge of our energy future, and participate in the public hearing in July – 
  • CLICK HERE to tell Governor Hochul and your NYS Assembly member and Senator to fully fund and implement the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in the 2023 session, increase support for regulatory and environmental justice actions at NYS DEC, and to prioritize our health and environment over private industry profits! 


With bread and roses,


Bridge, Chris and Emily

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