“In a major environmental case, the court has made clear that it would rather represent the interests of corporations and the super-rich than the needs and desires of the vast majority of Americans – or people on Earth.
“In its Thursday ruling on West Virginia v EPA – in line with a string of decisions that will make life here more dangerous – the US supreme court all but declared that war, curtailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate power plants under a provision of the Clean Air Act and – more worryingly – striking an opening blow to the government’s ability to do its job.
“… Polluters have always been happy to throw small fortunes at the right’s quest for minority rule, keen to protect fossil fuel profits and their ability to dump waste into the air and water from pesky things like democracy. As Nancy MacLean writes in Democracy in Chains, Charles Koch took a special interest in destroying public education, thus maintaining de facto segregation, before leading the charge against climate policy at every level of government. He continues to be a generous funder of the Federalist Society, an instrumental force in building and filling the pipeline of clerks, judges and cases that has created the judicial branch as we know it, and rulings like the one that overturned Roe v Wadelast week. Secretive dark-money outfits like Donors Trust, as well as Chevron and the Scaife Foundation – furnished by old oil and aluminum money – have joined him.
“West Virginia v EPA itself was brought with the help of the Republican Attorneys General Association, a network of state attorneys general whose own funders include the country’s biggest fossil fuel companies and the beleaguered coal barons who had the most to lose from the modest power plant regulations. They also spent $150,000 sponsoring Trump’s rally on 6 January.
“The interests of the country’s wealthiest residents and corporations are at odds with the vast majority of people who live here. Luckily for the right, a political system designed by slaveholders provides an easy on ramp to concretize minority rule, encasing their power within definitionally undemocratic institutions. With a young, ideological rightwing majority on the court, there’s no telling how far they might go. And there’s not much that can stop them.”