The Supreme Court of the United States in June ruled 6-3 in the West Virginia v. EPA case that the EPA or any other agency does not have the authority to adopt rules to regulate “a significant portion of the economy” without congressional authorization. The ruling limits the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions, potentially having negative consequences on public health.
The American Medical Association has condemned the court’s decisions, saying it will take a toll on the fight against climate change and the health of children.
“Regulating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is critical for combating the climate crisis and its major health implications, impacting the respiratory, cardiovascular, and immune systems of the U.S. population, with minoritized populations disproportionately impacted,” Jack Resneck, president of the AMA said in a statement. “The AMA has declared climate change a public health crisis that threatens the health and well-being of all people and supports policies that reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions aimed at carbon neutrality by 2050. As physicians and leaders in medicine, we recognize the urgency of supporting environmental sustainability efforts to help halt global climate change and the devastating health harms that it is sure to bring. Despite this ruling, we will continue to do our part to protect public health and improve health outcomes for our patients across the nation.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics took to Twitter to express their disappointment of the ruling as well.
“Every child should have the right to breathe clean air,” the agency tweeted, “To ensure that right, our federal government must be able to pass regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The decision will make it harder for that to happen now and harder for regulations to pass in the future.”
Though it may have not been featured as prominently in the headlines, last week's Supreme Court decision in West Virginia vs. EPA will have major consequences for children's health. 1/4— American Academy of Pediatrics (@AmerAcadPeds) July 7, 2022
Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor of Healthcare Facilities Today.