Residents of Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens fear what the EPA Supreme Court ruling will mean for their well-being

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — By a vote of 6 to 3, conservative judges on Thursday restricted how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can regulate carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. This is a huge blow to those fighting climate change.

President Joe Biden has a goal of halving carbon emissions by 2030 and believes the EPA has the authority to make it happen.

When EPA Administrator Michael Regan toured Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens in the fall of 2021, Sandra Edwards and many others felt hopeful for the first time in their lives.

“We finally, for once, have the feeling that help is on the way. We’ve got some relief coming. someone sees us Someone feels our pain. And then (Thursday) everything was like a drop in the ocean,” she explained.

Steps have been taken in Fifth Ward since then, but many believe the Supreme Court ruling set everyone back. The statement essentially states that the EPA must seek advice from Congress before regulating the greenhouse gases emitted by coal-fired power plants. It can no longer regulate these plants in the way that feels best.

“Realistically, I think this is hampering the government’s ability to tackle big issues. Specifically, environmental issues and health and safety issues,” said Victor Flatt, a professor of environmental law at the University of Houston.

Air Alliance Houston, a non-profit environmental group, issued a statement that reads in part:

“The government has a duty to protect public health and the environment. Thursday’s ruling — on an EPA plan that never materialized — tells the public that industry concerns about profit and power continue to outweigh our climate crisis and its impact on people’s health.”

According to Air Alliance Houston, coal-fired power plants are responsible for over a quarter of all CO2 emissions in the Lone Star State, which is described as a greenhouse gas that drives climate change and can lead to extreme weather events including our current heat wave. While the ruling may have more long-term implications, Edwards is understandably in the process of doing so.

“We have done everything. We got everyone involved and this is what we get? what’s the point It’s like saying that our lives don’t matter. Do what you want. Kill them and it will be okay,” she said.

ABC13 reached out to the US EPA’s office on Thursday for their opinion on the ruling, but apparently it’s a busy time. We haven’t heard anything yet.

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https://abc13.com/houston-cancer-cluster-supreme-court-limits-epa-environmental-protection-agency-rules-against/12007370/ Residents of Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens fear what the EPA Supreme Court ruling will mean for their well-being

Dais Johnston

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