In a new report, “In the Wake of West Virginia v. EPA,” policy experts from the Center for Progressive Reform, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and the Union of Concerned Scientists look at how Congress and the executive branch can continue to protect public health and safety despite the Supreme Court’s decision.
Experts call West Virginia v EPA a dangerous decision based on a faulty legal theory–but not one that should deter the federal government from doing their jobs. In the report, experts identify actions that Congress and the executive branch can take to uphold their responsibility to protect public health despite the challenge posed by West Virginia v EPA. Congress could pass legislation to explicitly protect federal agencies’ ability to create rules and effectively enforce laws like the Clean Air Act, as well as the Scientific Integrity Act to ensure the role of science and evidence in policymaking. In the executive branch, the regulatory process could be simplified and streamlined to ensure that agencies can quickly make and start enforcing rules. The report’s authors also suggest that agencies can tackle big issues by creating multiple smaller rules that combine for a greater impact.