This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case West Virginia v. EPA, a lawsuit that challenges EPA’s authority to regulate carbon pollution from power plants, a major cause of global warming. Moms Clean Air Force was on the scene to stand up for EPA’s authority to clean up our air and protect us from climate change. We were joined by 225 people who gathered to send a collective message that EPA needs broad authority under the Clean Air Act in order to fulfill its mission to “protect human health and the environment.”
Lucia Valentine, our West Virginia state coordinator, joined us on the steps of the Supreme Court to uphold the long tradition of West Virginians using music to inspire social change. Lucia and her father Dominic Valentine performed some favorite West Virginia folk songs along with one of Lucia’s own compositions, “We Are One,” to carry the message that the West Virginia Attorney General and the coal companies that are challenging EPA don’t represent her, nor do they represent the best interests of West Virginians. West Virginia is highly impacted by flooding and extreme weather caused by climate change, and West Virginians need the EPA to help protect them.
Moms Clean Air Force member and DC resident Daniela Ochoa Gonzalez spoke to the crowd from the podium, delivering a beautiful and moving message:
I want all our children to grow up in a country that empowers them to thrive. I want them to grow up in a country that puts their health and their well-being first. It really isn’t a difficult choice: People are more important than polluters’ profits.
Today at the Supreme Court, our progress in the fight against climate change is on the line. That means our children’s futures are on the line. As parents, we simply will not be silent while coal companies make bogus legal arguments to try to strip the government of the tools it needs to protect families from the rising costs and mounting dangers of climate change.
Her son Martin, age 8, boldly shared:
What happens today matters a lot to me and my friends. I know we can do great things for our country when we get older, but right now, we need help from adults to keep our air and our water clean and safe.
When I think about climate change, I think about my cousins in Mexico who have to deal with extreme heat. I think about kids whose homes get ruined because of hurricanes—and about families that don’t have enough to eat or drink because of how the environment has changed.
Today I hope the Supreme Court will be thinking about them too. If we all work together, we can do something about climate change. That would mean so much to kids like me.
We are inspired by the bravery Martin, Daniela, Lucia, and so many others showed in sharing their reasons for fighting for the Clean Air Act.