~ by Brian Roewe, EarthBeat, National Catholic Reporter
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants was met with disbelief and disappointment by Catholic and other faith groups, calling it “a moral travesty” with serious repercussions for both people and the climate.
The consequential ruling, issued June 30 in one of the final cases of a monumental term for the court, dealt a major blow to one of the federal government’s tools to reduce the heat-trapping gases, which are driving climate change, from one of the nation’s largest emitting sources: coal and gas-fired power plants. It also raised questions about what leeway other federal agencies will have to interpret laws and directives they’ve been tasked to enforce.
In a statement, the Catholic Climate Covenant said it was “deeply disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s decision.
“We know the emission of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels is one of the largest causes of the climate crisis,” said Catholic Climate Covenant’s executive director, Jose Aguto, pointing to rising global temperatures that are driving more dangerous and frequent droughts, heat waves and extreme weather events.
“We must bring these emissions down. Yet, the Supreme Court chose to limit EPA’s authority to regulate these emissions, rendering less resourced our collective imperative to care for creation and address the climate crisis. We ask: how is this decision upholding the life and dignity of every person?” he said.
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