Inside Climate News discusses how Massachusetts v. EPA Forced the U.S. Government to Take On Climate Change. The landmark Supreme Court ruling held that greenhouse gases were pollutants that could be regulated by the executive branch. Could it soon be reversed?
Now, 20 years later, a coalition of states and environmental organizations have sued the Trump administration to block its proposed rollback of the Obama administration automotive fuel efficiency standards. Should the lawsuit reach the Supreme Court, the case could reverse, or adversely modify, the landmark 2007 ruling that began in Mendelson’s nursery: Massachusetts v. EPA.
Filed last week, the complaint stands out, even among hundreds of environmental actions filed against the Trump administration. “It will tell us how environmentally destructive the court is willing to be,” says Ann Carlson, at the UCLA school of law.
It’s one of a pair of lawsuits advancing through the courts—the other involves the Trump administration’s repeal of Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan—that have the potential to reshape a legal precedent that has been called “as close as we will come” to a “Brown v. Board of Education for the environment.”