The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-partisan environmental and public advocacy organization, published a scathing review of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s environmental legacy as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Brett Kavanaugh, Bad for the Environment?
The article titled, “Brett Kavanaugh: Good News for Polluters, Bad News for Public Health” proclaimed that Kavanaugh “repeatedly ruled to limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to reduce pollution in air and water.”
According to the article, the non-profit law firm Earthjustice found that in 16 out of 18 EPA-related cases decided on substantive matters, rather than procedural issues, Kavanaugh ruled “in favor of pollution.”
The EWG and Earthjustice reported:
- Kavanaugh ruled that the EPA lacks the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and ruled against regulating cross-state air pollution.
- He ruled that the EPA did not have to update carbon monoxide standards and sought to delay rules to limit emissions from the production of cancer-causing PVC.
- He ruled in favor of dumping coal waste and dumping hazardous waste without regard for public health.
- He ruled that it’s okay for factory farms to foul the air of their neighbors, and argued that it’s okay to rely on the chemical industry’s data.
Kavanaugh’s reasoning for his rulings, according to the EWG, included arguing the EPA underestimated or ignored costs to polluters, that statutes be read in ways that limit the EPA’s ability to enforce legislation or protect public health, or that the EPA “should ignore the public health benefits of reducing pollution.”
What is the EWG?
The EWG was founded in 1993 and bills itself a non-profit and non-partisan organization “dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.” The EWG most recently made headlines for its expose of pesticides found in popular American breakfast cereals.
The EWG is also well-known for its Skin Deep report, Dirty Dozen, and National Tap Water Database. Skin Deep is an annual report published on the toxicity of chemicals found in popular sunscreens and other SPF products. The Dirty Dozen is a list of foods with the highest levels of pesticide residue published annually and the National Tap Water Database is a database where consumers can enter their zip code to find out the chemicals in their publicly supplied drinking water.