Supreme Court Blocks Clean Air Protections Before They’re Even Litigated - Alliance for Justice

Supreme Court Blocks Clean Air Protections Before They’re Even Litigated

Press Release




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Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2024 – Today the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Ohio v. EPA, blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s Good Neighbor Plan, which was designed to protect states from air pollution created in other states upwind of them. The Supreme Court notably took this case before lower courts had made their determinations, fast-tracking it outside of normal procedures to arrive at this result.

In effect, the Court has blocked an important clean air protection before lower courts have even determined if it is appropriate to do so. As Justice Barrett writes in her dissent with the liberal justices, the Court does not yet have the evidence to justify blocking the policy while the case is proceeding. Indeed, she warns that the challenge is not likely to succeed, so the order itself is harmful in the meantime.

Alliance for Justice Vice President of Strategy Keith Thirion issued the following statement:

“It wouldn’t be a Supreme Court term without another case targeting the important work of the EPA and a ruling that could devastate climate and environmental protections we so desperately need. The Good Neighbor Plan has the potential to improve the health of thousands of people, including saving lives that would be cut short by the impacts of air pollution. This Court, however, has decided that states have no choice but to endure the pollution generated by their neighbors, regardless of the consequences, while this policy is challenged. The conservatives on this Court consistently fail to comprehend the present-day impacts of climate change and the steps we must take to save our planet and the well-being of our people. Never doubt their willingness to hand a victory to the wealthy and powerful so that corporate polluters can make more money while everyone else suffers.”