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  • Hope Viviani

The Supreme Court's Decision on Climate Change

Updated: Jul 10, 2022

Image source: The Verge

Over the past few weeks, the United States Supreme Court has shocked the country with

their major decisions. With many left raged by the overturn of Roe versus Wade case or the decision to allow prayer back into a public school, the newest vote will affect the work of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On Thursday, June 30th, the Supreme Court voted to limit the power the EPA has to regulate emissions produced by power plants across the United States (2).

This decision will change the way the EPA is allowed to function and will allow for toxic air born substances to pollute the atmosphere. Many of these power plants that will no longer have to follow what the EPA says. The burning of both trash and other harmful toxins leads to mass production of fossil fuels (1). The EPA guides states a variety of concepts, not just the release of toxic fumes into the atmosphere (1). It is responsible for setting guidelines for the states to follow in order to best allow a plot of land or body of water to succeed. With the Supreme Court’s decision, the United States will be set back years from reaching the goals to make a change to the warming globe (2).

For majority of the 20th century, the United States has produced over 35 million pounds

of hazardous waste on an annual basis (1). While this comes in many different forms, portions of this large sum of waste are in the form of fossil fuels.

Now that the EPA does not have the right to manage the burning of fossil fuels, it opens the door for large scale companies to make whatever changes they wish, disregarding the EPA.

President Joe Biden along with the EPA will have to work together in order to see what they can do moving forward while the White House lawyers look into the Supreme Court's newest decision (2).

However, this setback has resulted in the EPA having to make new rulings and standards for power plant companies. The anticipated end month to this new decision is just under two

years away. This decision has left a majority of citizens in the United States angry and confused on why the country is taking steps backwards in creating a better future.

This decision will change the way the United States takes action against climate change for the worse. This could encourage a higher usage of global nonrenewable resources, a higher exposer of toxic fossil fuels to the earth’s atmosphere, and a higher use of other harmful nonenvironmentally friendly options.


(1) Daniels, T. (2014). Environmental planning handbook. Routledge, p. 244-245.

(2) Nilsen, E. (2022, June 30).How the Supreme Court ruling will gut the EPA's ability to fight the climate crisis. CNN. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from

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