Climate Justice Alliance Condemns Supreme Court Decision to Reverse 40 Year Old Ruling, Putting Polluters and Profits Over Communities - Climate Justice Alliance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 28, 2024

CONTACT: Anya Silverman-Stoloff | [email protected] 

Climate Justice Alliance Condemns Supreme Court Decision to Reverse 40 Year Old Ruling, Putting Polluters and Profits Over Communities

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned the so-called Chevron doctrine in a 6-3 ruling, once again demonstrating its allegiance to big business and polluters, rather than frontline communities. The ruling reverses one of the most important judicial precedents that has guided federal regulation for the past 40 years, enabling a government agency’s interpretation of a law or statute to stand when reasonable. This reversal will now make it even easier for polluting industries to use the courts to block new pollution regulations from going into effect. It also has the potential to open up thousands of judicial decisions sustaining government agencies’ (i.e. the EPA) rulemaking or adjudication as reasonable, to now be challenged.   

In the face of the destruction of this legal framework, it’s evermore important to center frontline organizing at the state level to strengthen environmental laws.

In response to the decision, Climate Justice Alliance’s Policy Working Group co-chairs, Elizabeth Yeampierre and Juan Jhong Chung stated:

“The SCOTUS ruling today directly undermines many of our communities’ efforts to address the deepening climate crisis and is a slap in the face to frontline communities who have been fighting for decades to ensure their families, children and neighbors can breathe in clean air and have access to clean and affordable water, rather than increased rates of asthma, chronic disease and debilitating health conditions, among other things.” 

-Juan Jhong Chung, Co-Executive Director, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

It’s no coincidence that those who will be most harmed by this decision are Indigenous Peoples, Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and poor white communities who continue to bear the brunt of the burden of the climate crisis. Rather than further delegitimizing itself by overturning long-held precedents, with no regard for justice, SCOTUS could have stood on the side of science and well-being of our children, our elders, all communities and ensured that the small standards currently in place that afford some amount of recourse for frontline communities against polluters remained viable. 

This is an act of violence against the most vulnerable. With this decision we are going back in time and headed down an even more harmful path for everyday people. Climate Justice Alliance will continue to organize, advocate and educate to push back against polluting industries and the continued attacks from the right, and all sides of the aisle, that intend to sacrifice frontline communities.” 

-Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE

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