In its 6-3 decision in West Virginia v. EPA on June 30, the court ruled that the Clean Air Act does not explicitly give the EPA broad power to regulate the entire energy industry.
The U.S. bishops said on Friday they were disappointed by a Supreme Court ruling that limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
“Catholic bishops across the United States have long supported the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases in order to combat climate change,” reads a July 1 statement from Archbishop Paul Coakley d ‘Oklahoma City, Chairman of the United States Bishops’ Home Justice Committee.
“We are therefore disappointed today that as a result of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act, the EPA has significantly curtailed authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants.”
In its 6-3 decision in West Virginia vs. EPA on June 30, the court ruled that the Clean Air Act did not explicitly give the EPA broad power to regulate the entire energy sector.
“A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting under clear delegation from that representative body,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.
The EPA regulations, he said, were an example “of agencies asserting highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted.”
Bishop Coakley wrote that “reasonable regulation and legislation are essential to address the threat and challenges of climate change. We call on Congress to give the EPA the authority to meaningfully regulate greenhouse gases.
He cited a 2018 memo from the U.S. Bishops’ General Counsel’s Office to the EPA Administrator, insisting that the agency has “both legal authority and responsibility to take regulatory measures. … It is difficult to foresee a scenario, under current economic and technological conditions, in which the EPA faithfully fulfills its mandate to protect public health from greenhouse gases without significantly affecting political realities. and economic.
Laudato IfPope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on caring for our common home, covered a wide range of environmental topics, from climate change, species extinction and resource depletion to waste, economic structures and global inequalities.
The encyclical praised Saint Francis of Assisi for having lived an “integral ecology” with joy and authenticity.