Press Release

June 29, 2015
Cardin Statement on 5-4 Supreme Court Decision to Limit the Effectiveness of the Clean Air Act

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement upon the announcement of a narrowly divided Supreme Court decision in National Mining Association v. EPA that the Environmental Protection Agency had failed to reasonably account for the costs of instituting pollution limits when regulating power plants and other sources of toxic emissions.


“Pollution doesn’t stop at state borders. As such, Congress passed the Clean Air Act to establish a federal benchmark for clean air standards. This latest decision by the Supreme Court goes against the clear congressional intent of the Clean Air Act. The decision for National Mining Association v. EPA is as narrow of mind as it is of majority. The Environmental Protection Agency should be able to take appropriate and necessary actions to regulate the pollutants discharged from obsolete power plants. We know without doubt that these pollutants damage public health and our environment. Ruling that the cost of compliance is more important than keeping deadly pollutants out of our air and bodies quite literally puts profits over people.


“The high court has delivered a major setback in what should be a bipartisan, nationwide fight to protect the most vulnerable among us — particularly pregnant and nursing mothers and their children – from the deadly impacts of toxic chemicals like arsenic and mercury. It is important to note that the Supreme Court did not reject that power plants are the worst industrial polluters, controlling their emissions is very feasible, or that doing so strengthens public health and our economy.  Regardless of this decision, I remain committed to protecting America’s access to clean air.”