Weekly Briefing: What Does The SCOTUS EPA Ruling Mean For Climate Advocacy?
July 6, 2022
This past Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in the West Virginia v. the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) case, in a 6-3 decision that curtails the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide is critical to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Volunteers may be asking themselves: What does this mean for climate advocacy?
While this news from the Supreme Court isn’t good, it’s important to remember that while the ruling limits the EPA’s ability to regulate emissions, it does not eliminate the EPA's ability to regulate emissions, as this helpful analysis from the journalists of the Hot Take podcast explain. And of course, reducing emissions through existing EPA regulations is not the only way to do so. Effective legislation passed through Congress could cut emissions, which is exactly what CCL has been working on all along.
This means that the time is ripe to tell Congress to pass climate legislation. Policies like a price on carbon can’t come from the EPA, but they can come from Congress. Our work as climate advocates is crucial in securing legislation that mitigates the effects of climate change.
In other news this week:
• 1,300+ climate advocates attend June 2022 conference: The official numbers are in: CCL welcomed 527 climate advocates to our annual conference in person, and 835 more joined sessions streaming online. Read more here.
• A carbon price is better than carbon credits: Carbon credits, while being a well-intentioned policy, have many loopholes, making them less than airtight when compared to a carbon price. Read more here.
• Sen. Mitt Romney op-ed — America is in denial: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) published an op-ed in The Atlantic on the Fourth of July. He warns that America is dismissing threats that could prove to be cataclysmic, including climate change. You can read the op-ed here, and view the Senator’s social media post here.
Take action this week
Join our online July national meeting this Saturday, July 9, and hear from Environmental Voter Project Executive Director Nathaniel Stinnett. He will discuss his climate story, why he supports carbon pricing, and how we can prepare the grid for the transition to clean energy. Will you join us this Saturday?
Featured Lever This Week
MI volunteers organize float in July 4 parade
CCL volunteers from the Ann Arbor, Michigan, chapter found a way to enjoy a Fourth of July parade and do some creative grassroots outreach, too. Ann Arbor group leader Ginny Rogers shares more details about the chapter’s parade participation.
“The float was the brainchild of one of our volunteers, Mary Garton.” Ginny says the group wanted “to convey that we're just ordinary people. I thought it was a great idea, so we decided to just sign up for the parade and get people motivated to join.”
Another chapter member, Clark McCall, also volunteers with Common Cycle, a volunteer-based bicycle repair co-op. Clark arranged for the chapter to borrow one of Common Cycle’s long bike trailers. Mary decided to have two people on the float, one pretending to be a citizen lobbyist, and one pretending to be a member of Congress.
Lila Fetter, a high schooler in the Ann Arbor chapter, played the volunteer, and Ginny played the Member of Congress. Mary pulled the float with her e-bike.
“We ended up with a great turnout of volunteers who carried signs, banners, a wind turbine and solar panel, and passed out flyers,” Ginny says. “We received lots of cheers along the way with Mary circling our group of marchers for the whole route, so we figured at the very least, we made an impression!”
7/14: Trees and Forests as Natural Climate Solutions — Join Dana Nuccitelli, CCL Research Coordinator, for a training about removing and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, the role trees and forests can play, and the other benefits that those solutions provide. Join us!
Need training on the basics? Catch our next session of Core Volunteer Training, made for newer volunteers:
7/12: Building Personal Resilience as a Climate Advocate — Climate work can be emotionally challenging and overwhelming. This training is an opportunity to recognize and make space for the fullness of your experience through connecting with others, sharing authentically, listening deeply, and exploring opportunities for building personal resilience. Join us!
To see other topics and past trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community.