Last Week SCOTUS stripped women of their bodily sovereignty, next up– the Clean Air act with West Virginia v. EPA ruling

Last Week SCOTUS stripped women of their bodily sovereignty, next up– the Clean Air act with West Virginia v. EPA ruling

June 27,  2022

Turtle Island: On February 28, 2022 The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is expected to rule on this case in the next week. The Petitioners in the case, representatives from the coal industry paired with a coalition of conservative states, argue that EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions should be limited, seeking to strip power from the executive branch’s strongest regulatory tool to mitigate climate change.

The same morning the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on West Virginia v. EPA, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability warned that the catastrophic impacts of climate breakdown will soon outpace humanity’s ability to adapt to it. As they prepare to rule on this landmark decision, New Mexico is on fire, at least 2,000 cattle have died following a heat wave in southwestern Kansas, the Colorado River is drying out and is in major crisis, and Texas is in a record drought with its Frio River flow dropping to zero.

The decision, made by the same court that just stripped bodily sovereignty, is likely to strip the EPA’s power to craft and enforce policies that reduce the country’s carbon emissions and fight climate change.  The ruling in West Virginia v. EPA could not just diminish the regulatory authority of the EPA but many other federal agencies as well. The ruling could also have broader implications, as the argument is focused on the SCOTUS's jurisdiction to rule on the dispute and whether the lower court’s decision violates the “major questions” doctrine, which holds courts should not defer to agency statutory interpretations that concern questions of “vast economic or political significance." Meaning if Congress wants to give an administrative agency the power to make “decisions of vast economic and political significance,” it must say so explicitly.  

Statement from Ikiya Collective on West Virginia v. EPA

Climate chaos and the devastation of its impact are here. Indigenous knowledge and leadership are key to addressing the climate crisis. We must prepare for SCOTUS to take the wrong side of history again. We know violence to our land, air and water results in violence to our body. Climate change and bodily sovereignty are directly related. Voting and party lines will not get us out of the mess white supremacy and capitalism has created. Fossil fuel pollution and the denial of bodily sovereignty create disproportionate harm on Black, Indigenous, low income and communities of the global majority. The unjust political and corporate greed seeking to block reproductive justice and climate justice are one in the same evil.

Ikiya Collective is a frontline-led group of femme, queer, two-spirit Black, Indigenous, and people of the global majority organizing in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico who believe through direct action another world is possible.

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