Sierra Club
Sierra Club Press Release

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June 20, 2011

Contact: Oliver Bernstein, 512.289.8618

U.S. Supreme Court Confirms that the EPA Has Primary Responsibility to Protect Americans from Coal Pollution

Statement from Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court today strongly reaffirmed its finding that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant subject to control under the Clean Air Act and explained that the task of protecting Americans from power plant pollution falls to the Environmental Protection Agency.

In response Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, issued the following statement:

"Today’s ruling confirms that the Environmental Protection Agency can and should protect Americans from coal industry pollution, which jeopardizes our health and safety.

"Today the country's highest court validated EPA’s ability to adopt strong standards, and now the Obama Administration should feel confident in moving forward with meaningful protections from coal-fired power plants and other sources of industrial pollution.

"This case reminds us of the lengths that Big Coal will go to in order to circumvent the law, as evidenced by the industry's efforts to prevent the adoption of strong standards. Our air, water and communities are already sacrificed to devastating mining, dirty coal plants, and toxic coal ash – all to line Big Coal’s pockets. And the industry is fighting hard, with major lobbying contributions at both the state and federal levels, to be able to continue business as usual."