U.S. Supreme Court Puts Profit Over Lives By Limiting the Powers of the Environmental Protection Agency

Leading global Jewish human rights organization decries U.S. Supreme Court decision and calls on President Biden to use executive powers to address the climate crisis


Nikhil Aziz, Director of Land, Water and Climate Justice issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

“We are deeply disappointed in today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which limits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants. This disastrous decision puts profits over lives, endangers the future of our planet and its people, and sends an appalling message to the rest of the world.

Around the globe, communities that have done the least to cause the climate crisis (from small farmers to forest dependent Indigenous groups) are the ones bearing the brunt of its devastating impacts – including many in the Global South where AJWS works.

By limiting the EPA’s ability to regulate emissions from power plants, which are overwhelmingly located in lower-income communities and communities of color, the Supreme Court has effectively sentenced marginalized peoples here in the U.S. to a lifetime of suffering – and by extension, those same communities in the Global South because global warming does not stop at national borders.

The decision also sets a devastating precedent that questions the authority of all federal administrative agencies to carry out their mandate on major policy issues.

SCOTUS does not have to have the final word, however. AJWS calls on President Biden to use the full force of his executive powers to advance climate justice by:

  • Declaring a Climate Emergency
  • Immediately banning all new oil, gas, and coal contracts on federal lands
  • Halting approval of all fossil fuel projects and subsidies to fossil fuel companies
  • And fast-tracking renewable energy projects

The climate crisis is the single largest existential threat the world has faced. We cannot afford half-measures or complacency. In the face of this dismal ruling, which hamstrings U.S. efforts to influence efforts to address the climate crisis, AJWS joins the rallying cry of our partners and millions across the nation to #BuildBackFossilFree.

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