Following a Supreme Court decision on Thursday limiting the rulemaking authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and requiring Congress to play a larger role in determining regulations, Gov. Jay Inslee released a joint statement with two other state governors criticizing the ruling.
“We are deeply disappointed in this regressive decision, but it only hardens our resolve to act with the boldness and urgency the climate crisis demands. At a time when we’re seeing devastating droughts, wildfires and storms become the norm, the Supreme Court has sided with polluters at the expense of the American people,” Inslee said, joined by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The three governors said state-level action is now of higher importance than before and reaffirmed their states’ commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The three governors co-chair the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of 24 state governors who have pledged to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050.
Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, released a statement criticizing Inslee over his response to the ruling.
“Today’s opinion is about the rule of law. It is up to Congress to authorize new regulations that the EPA has been implementing on its own,” Braun said. “What is the governor really mad about? He knows our state Supreme Court also has ruled environmental policy is to be made by the people’s elected lawmakers. He has bragged about getting environmental policy through our state Legislature. How can he not understand that the same process should apply at the federal level?”
Braun accused Inslee of grandstanding and making efforts to address climate change unnecessarily “partisan and divisive.”
The Republican Leader also accused the governor of incorrectly stating Republicans were indifferent to environmental issues, noting that Republicans provided the first legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
“Governor Inslee knows the first carbon legislation to clear either legislative chamber in Olympia wasn’t from Democrats — it was a Republican bill, way back in 2015,” Braun said.
Braun said Inslee finds the idea of placing “power back in the hands of (elected officials)” to be “inconvenient.”
“That attitude isn’t surprising from someone who has clung to his emergency rule for 850 days and counting,” Braun added.