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Emissions and Environmental Experts Respond to Supreme Court EPA Decision
Today the Supreme Court voted to limit the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency in its regulatory power over greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. What does the decision mean for the larger fight to combat the warming climate?
Two Syracuse University professors provide insight below that you are welcome to quote. Both are also available for interviews.
Linda Ivany, professor and associate chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Professor Ivany’s research lies at the intersection of paleoecology and paleoclimatology.
“This is a short-sighted and seemingly politically motivated decision. The mission of the EPA is to ‘protect human health and the environment’, and they accomplish this in part by ensuring that ‘national efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information’.
“The scientific consensus here is overwhelmingly clear on what is happening and why. I don’t understand the logic behind Chief Justice Roberts’ claim that the EPA, a regulatory agency, does not have the authority to regulate emissions in such a way that will indeed protect human health and the environment in myriad substantial and universal ways.”
Charles Driscoll is University Professor of Environmental Systems in Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. He has extensively researched air pollution, climate change and the health implications of power plant emissions.
“This ruling is disappointing but not unexpected. Prior courts had deferred to the administration in complex technical matters because the agencies have the technical expertise to address these issues. Often legislation in is not written in specific terms or circumstances change or evolve and the administration needs to adapt to address these changes.
“This will have huge implications for the ability of agencies to address complex technical challenges. Climate change is the issue for this specific case, but the ruling also has implications for other matters such a public health and safety. The administration had limited tools to address climate change, but this ruling really puts them in a box. What would be required going forward would be a legislative approach but that seems unlikely.
To request interviews or get more information:
Associate Director of Media Relations
Division of Communications