A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from an environmental organization and two Pennsylvania boys that sought to block deregulatory action by the Trump administration against climate change policies, citing the fact that the court doesn’t have the power to instruct what the White House can or cannot do.
The lawsuit, dubbed “Clean Air Council v. the United States,” claimed President Donald Trump’s rollbacks on restrictive climate policies violated the public trust. The plaintiffs sought to block anything that would violate “the constitutional rights to a life-sustaining climate system.”
But in the Feb. 19 dismissal, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia ruled that the Constitution doesn’t guarantee what the boys and the organization, Clean Air Council, called a due process right to a “life-sustaining climate system.” Diamond also disagreed with a judge overseeing a similar case in Oregon.
Diamond said the plaintiffs were effectively asking him to “supervise any actions the President and his appointees take that might touch on ‘the environment.'” The judge stated that he had “neither the authority nor the inclination to assume control of the Executive Branch.”
He also said that the two boys, who were aged 7 and 11 when the lawsuit was filled in November 2017, couldn’t trace their respective severe allergies and asthma to White House policies.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice (DOJ) told The Epoch Times that they were “pleased with the court’s decision.”
The judge said the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue Trump and the other groups they sought after including the Department of Energy, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“Plaintiffs’ disagreement with defendants is a policy debate best left to the political process,” wrote Diamond, an appointee of President George W. Bush.
Joseph Minott, executive director of the Clean Air Council, said the plaintiffs would review their options, claiming the White House’s “deliberate indifference” to climate change increases “the frequency and intensity of its life-threatening effects.”
Trump, who has long been a critic of the science behind climate change, previously announced his intention to withdraw the United States from a two-year-old global agreement that claims to combat climate change over controversial caveats in the deal, and made a proposal to overhaul former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
In November 2018, Trump rejected projections that climate change will cause severe harm to the U.S. economy, findings outlined in a congressionally mandated report by the U.S. government.
To date, there is no consensus among scientists about the key issues related to climate change and global warming. Trump isn’t alone in dismissing the theory that human use of fossil fuel will lead to catastrophe.
James Taylor, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, said in a statement last year, “The scientific evidence and conclusions reported by climate scientists are far different than what the environmental left and their legacy media allies would like the public to believe.”
Reuters contributed to this report.