U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of West Virginia in EPA case

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of West Virginia in EPA case
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:16 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision in the West Virginia v. EPA case, voting in favor of West Virginia and dealing a major blow to the EPA.

This is a decision many elected officials in West Virginia were excited to hear, with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey saying this is a “Great win for West Virginia and her residents.”

However, environmental groups don’t feel the same way with some like the Sierra Club calling this a big step backward.

“The court took off the table EPA’s most effective tool for combating greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants,” Senior Attorney for the Sierra Club Andres Restrepo said. “That is the opportunity to shift electricity generation away from fossil fuel-fired sources and towards new renewable resources.”

On the other side, Morrisey said this ruling affirms that the EPA overstepped its power and took actions outside of its authority.

Now he says any changes can go through Congress.

“This is not a case about climate change,” Morrisey said. “This is a case about separation of powers and ensuring that the legislative branch steps in and an unelected bureaucrats don’t try to win when they don’t have the power to act.”

We also received a statement from U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., that said:

“As detailed in the bicameral amicus brief I led along with Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers, 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. If Congress had intended to give EPA such sweeping authority to transform an entire sector of our economy, Congress would have done so explicitly.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is welcome news and further proves that EPA overstepped its authority by imposing enormously burdensome regulations on states to reconfigure our electric grid despite Congress’s rejection. I congratulate Attorney General Morrisey for his leadership on this important victory for West Virginia and the entire nation, which ensures that EPA can never issue an overreaching regulation like the Clean Power Plan again. EPA must follow the law, and as Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I will continue to conduct oversight of EPA to make sure the agency does not attempt to devastate the people and industries of West Virginia as it did with the Clean Power Plan ever again.”

The West Virginia Coal Association also sent a statement that said:

“All along this case has been about reining in the unchecked power of federal agencies, and specifically the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

“We are thrilled that the Supreme Court agreed with Attorney General Morrisey’s arguments and signaled that Congressional approval is necessary when addressing major policy questions.

“Congress, not unelected bureaucrats, should be the governing body that establishes the laws of this land.

“Attorney General Morrisey deserves our thanks and praise for initiating and leading this monumental effort, and we congratulate him on this amazing victory.”

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