Statement by Former Vice President Al Gore on the Supreme Court’s Decision in West Virginia v. EPA

Today’s decision is a disappointment, but unfortunately, it does not come as a surprise. It is the result of decades of influence and coordination by the fossil fuel lobby and its allies to delay, obstruct, and dismantle progress toward climate solutions. Now that it is clear that the American people want to swiftly and rapidly move away from these polluting industries, fossil fuel interests have turned to the judicial system to bail them out.

But this ruling does not mean we are out of options to address the climate crisis. There is more we can—and must—do: we need to see state and local governments redouble their efforts to reduce emissions, we need to see the private sector step up and match their climate pledges with action, and most importantly, we must call on Congress to pass comprehensive climate legislation.

This Supreme Court’s decision on WV v. EPA comes at the end of a term that will be remembered for moving America backwards in its progress to protect freedom and equality. From the separation of church and state, to the sovereignty of Native Americans, our ability to address the epidemic of gun violence, and perhaps most significantly, curtailing a person’s right to make decisions about their own body, we’ve seen the law and our Constitution twisted and manipulated to align with the priorities of special interests.

In order to address the climate crisis and injustice, we must address the democracy crisis. We must rededicate ourselves to becoming active participants in our democracy. That means voting in every election for which you are eligible. It means working to protect the right to vote for all Americans. It means raising your voice in protest and joining organizations that are advocating for action. It means contacting your elected officials and letting them know how important these issues are to you.

We cannot linger in despair. Instead, we must harness this moment to galvanize change.