Inslee Slams Supreme Court Decision on Power Plant Emissions
Washington Governor Jay Inslee is voicing fierce opposition to the Supreme Court's decision this week that curbs the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate emissions from power plants.
Inslee said the decision kneecaps the EPA's ability to keep the public safe from dangerous emissions generated by coal fired power plants.
"Many people die an early death from respiratory and cardiac diseases from coal fired pollution," said Inslee. "As well, we know that it is a major driver, about 59 percent of our grid is powered by dangerous pollution from coal fired plants."
Republican State Senator John Braun disagrees with Inslee, saying it’s entirely appropriate for the Court to reinforce the separation of powers between the branches of government.
"This is how it's supposed to work," said Braun. "The legislature in our state and the Congress in our country are responsible for making the law. If you want to change the law, you go to the legislature or to Congress and advocate for a change in the law. That's how it's supposed to work."
Braun says the effort to address climate change doesn’t have to be so partisan and divisive, despite the governor’s grandstanding.
Inslee said that ruling wouldn’t affect Washington’s efforts to transition off of coal, with the state’s only coal plant in Centralia still on track to close by 2025.
The 6-3 decision in the Supreme Court was sharply divided on ideological lines, with the conservative majority saying Congress would have to act to give the agency more authority.
The liberal minority said the court's action turned the court itself into the decision maker on climate change, rather than Congress or the EPA.