We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that curbs the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to put in place regulations on power plants over and above what Congress enacts as law.
For far too long, some regulatory agencies have gone to extremes to exert their authority, and the high court’s ruling is a necessary step to rein in unelected government officials who never have to answer to the public for their decisions.
This is not to say that some of the EPA guidelines are right or wrong. But if the agency believes more regulations and restrictions are needed, it can make the case with Congress, which can then make the decision — and also answer to those who elect lawmakers.
“This ruling in favor of West Virginia will stop unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., from being able to unilaterally decarbonize our economy just because they feel like it,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “Instead, members of Congress who have been duly elected to represent the will of the people across all of America will be allowed to have a rightful say when it comes to balancing our desire for a clean environment with our need for energy and the security it provides us.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., ranking member of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was among the 47 senators and 44 House members who signed an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in December 2021. She has long been critical of what she sees as overreach by the EPA and other agencies that harms businesses and citizens.
“This case was critical in making clear that EPA does not have the authority to issue regulations that transform how we use and generate electricity in this country,” Capito said. “If Congress had intended to give EPA such sweeping authority to transform an entire sector of our economy, Congress would have done so explicitly.”
We applaud West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who led the state’s challenge of the EPA rulings to the high court.
“It’s important to play by the rules. Don’t try to use the agency process to short-circuit Congress’ role under the Constitution. Once again, this should benefit every American of all stripes. This isn’t about climate change. This is about ensuring people play by the rules,” Morrisey said.
This is a victory for a common-sense approach to climate change, as Congress would be wise to bring all sides of the issue to the table to find a way forward.
This isn’t about denying climate change. The Supreme Court’s ruling gives our leaders the ability to find a better way forward, addressing climate change without damaging the economy and the lives of hard-working Americans, including many West Virginians.