Wed. 9/12: We don’t need another anti-environmental corporate-fanboy on the Supreme Court.

Action #1 – Call your senators to support them or chide them on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court would do exactly what the Trump administration hopes he would do. Based on his record, he would wreak havoc on the environment to aid the administration’s largest donors, extractive industries like oil, gas, logging and mining, as well big agriculture. He will do it with “decisions” based on the strange, extreme, and absurd arguments that have puzzled and enraged his colleagues during his time on the federal bench. Now that the effects of global climate change are destroying parts of our country on a continual basis, we cannot afford another enabler of the polluters that foul our environment and destroy our health.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to [keep on resisting/fight against] Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court because he has been proven to be ally of those who would weaken our protections for our environment.

Contact your Senator:
Senator Feinstein: email DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Contacts: https://hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com

Action #2 – Write another comment on the Clear Air Act rules page.

Click here for details.

Background

He’s not clear about pollution and state borders: EPA v. EME Homer City GenerationKavanaugh wrote a 2-judge majority opinion AGAINST the EPA’s “good neighbor” policy in requiring states to control their emissions and prevent them from pouring pollution over their borders into “downwind” states. His conservative colleague, Judge Janice Rogers, dissented vigorously, stating that “Kavanaugh’s “result is an unsettling of the consistent precedent of this court strictly enforcing jurisdictional limits, a redesign of Congress’s vision of cooperative federalism between the States and the federal government in implementing the CAA [Clean Air Act], based on the court’s own notions of absurdity and logic.” His decision was reversed by the Supreme Court.

He believes business trumps pollution protections: Howmet Corp. v. EPA was a chemical dumping case where the majority agreed that the EPA have the right to regulate the disposal of fertilizer waste. However Kavanaugh thought the agency had overreached by imposing the Resource and Recovery Act rules because the company claimed that the toxic chemical was being “repurposed” as fertilizer, and therefore, shouldn’t be regulated as the toxic “waste” that it was.

He’s a big fan of “cost-benefit analysis”: His approach weighs the financial “harm” to businesses heavily against the overall benefit to the public welfare, whether it’s protecting an endangered owl species from habitat erosion or allowing cities to set their own air-pollution standards. In a legal challenge to mountaintop-removal mining, an extremely destructive form of extraction that involves tearing up mountains to suck coal from below the surface, Kavanaugh rejected the majority view on a permit granted to the coal operations of Mingo Logan, complaining that the EPA never properly considered the costs to humans–coal miners, Mingo Logan’s shareholders, and local businesses. Kavanaugh’s appreciation of the “cost to humans” equated corporations as the people who matter most and placed the needs of polluting industries over black lung disease, irreparable environmental damage and the pollution of the drinking water supply.

He’s not clear on the Clean Air Act: During the Obama years, Kavanaugh came down against the EPA in every one of the three major cases he heard about the agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases. In 2016 oral arguments, Kavanaugh said that the Clean Air Act is “a thin statute, it wasn’t designed with [greenhouse gases and climate change] specifically in mind.” Wrong answer, Brett! The EPA was created to address various types of pollution, and the Clean Air Act gave it that legal authority.  Kavanaugh is correct in that Congress should do more to enshrine environmental protections in law, but that won’t be happening as long as the Republicans in the White House and Congress are owned by the fossil fuel industry. That fact, however, doesn’t lessen EPA’s authority to regulate carbon pollution. Kavanaugh’s unwillingness to defer to EPA’s legal authority is wrong.

OK, he’s actually hostile to the Clean Air Act: After making the “thin statute” comment, he then went on to compare climate change regulation to Bush-era efforts to violate the due process rights of captured enemy combatants, saying that if “war is not a blank check” to justify the loss of human rights, then “global warming is not a blank check” to justify the EPA’s regulation of air pollutants from power plants. If he makes it to SCOTUS, he will consistantly rule against the government’s right to pass environmental regulation, allowing industry interests and red-state attorneys general in red states to start suing to roll back existing regulations that protect the public.


  • Just how bad would Kavanaugh be for the environment? (the nation)
  • Brett Kavanaugh could be worse than you think. Here’s how he’ll gut environmental protection.(salon)
  • Kavanaugh threatens to become a potent anti-environment justice (forbes)
  • How Brett Kavanaugh could rein in environmental rules on the Supreme Court (ctpost)
  • Unless it changes, capitalism will starve humanity by 2050 (forbes)

 

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