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  • Writer's pictureGood Stewards Network

The Supreme Court’s Decision in West Virginia vs. EPA Will Have Dire Consequences


United States Supreme Court
  • On June 30, 2022, in the ruling for the case West Virginia vs. EPA, the Supreme Court limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon pollution. This ruling will change the future of climate policy in the United States.


The Court’s Decision Will Increase Pollution, Have Negative Health and Economic Effects

The court’s decision will not only impact our planet, but all of God’s children who live on it. Pollution will increase as a direct response to this ruling, leaving more children at risk for brain damage, cardiopulmonary diseases, preterm birth, and death. The ruling also increases the risk for areas historically at higher risk for pollution, such as low-income and redlined communities.


The decision will also likely slow the growth of low-carbon and zero-emission energy sources, which is currently the fastest growing source of jobs in the energy sector, and will hinder our clean energy technologies, one of the United States’ strongest competitive standpoints in the world economy.


What Can the EPA Do to Combat Pollution?

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has still left the EPA with the ability to regulate greenhouse gasses, agreeing with defined science that the combustion of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide that is the main source of greenhouse gasses, and that climate change is real. This still gives the EPA some ability to work to protect God’s creation.


However, the Supreme Court did limit the EPA’s ability to reduce greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act, which had allowed the agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions across the entire energy sector. Now they can only do so on a station-by-station basis.


Congress is Now the Leading Authority to Enact Climate Policy

Given the agency’s reduced authority based on the court’s ruling, decisions to limit emissions from the energy sector as a whole now must be made by Congress.


In a statement about the ruling, Rev. Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network wrote, “the West Virginia vs. EPA decision forces Congress to act and take responsibility for defining the future of our nation and defend the Biblical right for an abundant life.”


A budget reconciliation bill to allocate $555 billion in clean energy, health, and climate investments has been discussed in Congress, but has faced tough negotiations. Even if this bill were to pass, many believe that Congress must also pass bipartisan carbon fee legislation and introduce a carbon border adjustment to meet our carbon reduction goals, accelerate American innovation, invest in workers, promote economic growth, hold other countries accountable for their emissions, and ensure a safe future for our children.


Climate change and fossil fuel pollution harms our childrens’ hearts, lungs, brains, and lives around the world. As stated in the Lancet Medical Journal, “climate change is the greatest global health threat facing the world in the 21st century, but it is also the greatest opportunity to redefine the social and environmental determinants of health.”


In 2015, over 220,000 pro-life Christians supported the EPA’s newly created Clean Power Plan. The Bible makes it clear: the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:1). As its tenants, we must take care of the earth and repair the damage humans have caused.


“We need Congress to know it’s more important than ever that they come together and act now – to defend our health, our children, our economy, and the future of all Americans. Our children and the American people cannot afford to wait any longer,” wrote Rev. Hescox.


The fight to protect our nation, planet, and the Biblical right to an abundant life is now left in the hands of Congress. They must act to protect God’s creations.



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