Contributed by Harry Esteve, DEQ
June 30, 2022 — Today, in response to the Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director Richard Whitman has issued the following statement:
“Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court limiting EPA’s authority to regulate emissions from power plants does not directly affect the critically important work Oregon and the Department of Environmental Quality are doing to reduce carbon emissions in this state.
“DEQ, through the Climate Protection Program, the Clean Fuels Program, vehicle standards, electric vehicle incentives, landfill standards and other programs, remains fully on track and meeting our part of the climate challenge.
“These programs are based on authority granted by the Oregon legislature rather than by the U.S. Congress and as a result, are not affected by the West Virginia v. EPA decision. Furthermore, the Oregon legislature has acted to curtail carbon emissions from power plants that supply electricity to Oregonians, and this state program is also unaffected by today’s decision.
“In short, Oregon, along with other partner states, will continue to lead the nation in demonstrating how to combat climate change.
“What the court’s ruling does do, however, is create an uneven playing field across the country, with some states shouldering the weight of responsible climate actions and others not doing so. Addressing that inequity will ultimately require Congressional action to move the nation forward as a whole to meet our global responsibility for climate action.”
About the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.