Reactions to the Supreme Court’s opinion in West Virginia v. EPA ranged from descriptions of a serious but surmountable setback to apocalyptic. President Biden pledged to “take action” following the “devastating decision that aims to take our country backwards,” and said he would pursue all legal options to address “the danger to public health and existential threat the climate crisis poses.” EPA Administrator Michael Regan explained: “This decision does constrain what we do. But let me be clear. It doesn’t take us out of the game. We still will be able to regulate climate pollution.”

The decision — described by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) as “disgraceful” — caps what has been a whirlwind of rightwing rulings from the Court this term. “What the Court did just on abortion, guns and congressional power in the last eight days—that alone is momentous [but] if these justices stay together over the next few years, I don’t even think the first shoe has dropped,” UC-Irvine law professor Rick Hasen told Politico, noting potentially extreme voting rights cases the Court announced Thursday it would hear in its next term. “There’s so much more the Supreme Court could do to change American society.”

‘This GOP takeover will hurt everyone’

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz) generally agreed in a statement: “Make no mistake, this decision — and all of the decisions this week — will be directly responsible for the harm and deaths of countless Americans … And while there’s no question that this GOP takeover will hurt everyone, we know that poor communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities will be hurt the most.” The Supreme Court’s decision also caused alarm overseas, with voices across Europe and Asia emphasizing that the United States must meet its international obligations to take action on climate change. (Biden: E&E News, Reuters, Politico Pro $, The Hill, Reuters; Regan: PBS Newshour; Congress: Politico, E&E $, The Hill; Other reactions: The Hill, The Guardian, The Hill, Reuters; Intn’l: Reuters, Reuters)