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Conservative Justices limit the EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions

On this edition of Your Call, we discuss the 6-3 Supreme Court ruling that curtails the EPA’s power to force power plants to reduce carbon pollution. Those plants make up a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, according to the EPA.

In her dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote, “The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decisionmaker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening. Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change."

This case is the product of a coordinated, multiyear strategy by Republican attorneys general, conservative legal activists and their funders to use the judicial system to rewrite environmental law, weakening the executive branch’s ability to tackle global warming, writes New York Times reporter Coral Davenport. How will this decision impact efforts to tackle the climate crisis?


Jack Lienke, regulatory policy director of the Institute for Policy Integrity, and adjunct professor at New York University School of Law

Kassie Siegel, director at Climate Law Institute and senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity

Richard Lazarus, professor of environmental law, natural resources law, and Supreme Court advocacy at Harvard University

Web Resources:

The Lever: Koch Machine Pressing Supreme Court To Crush EPA

The Guardian: Supreme court decisions: court deals blow on climate but Biden wins immigration case

The Verge: What the Supreme Court climate change case is all about

The New York Times: Republican Drive to Tilt Courts Against Climate Action Reaches a Crucial Moment

Truthout: Most Voters Say Supreme Court Shouldn’t Bar EPA From Regulating Air Pollution

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.