In this July 1, 2022, file photo, police barriers are visible in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. Credit: Andrew Harnik / AP

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Less than a week after overturning Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court upended the Clean Air Act through West Virginia v. EPA. Thirteen million people die annually from preventable climate-related causes, a number now effectively endorsed by an alleged pro-life judiciary.

The Clean Air Act was spearheaded by Maine’s own Sen. Ed Muskie more than 50 years ago and was among this country’s first — and most successful — climate acts. It has reduced air pollution by 70 percent, prevented hundreds of thousands of early deaths and its economic benefits outweigh costs more than 30 to 1. At a time when we need explicit climate action, the Supreme Court prioritizes myopic goals that push national decarbonization further out of reach while bringing about more deaths, economic harm and insecurity.

Air quality in a state like Maine is particularly sensitive to EPA oversight as the majority of our pollution comes from other states. Just as it is in the majority of the world, our health here is determined by actions taken elsewhere.

In delivering the court’s opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts indicated that Congress needs to step up. Luckily, we have a reconciliation package all primed for congressional approval, which has the capacity to do exactly that. Please request that U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins endorse this package — our last hope — to ensure healthier air for Maine and to embolden Congress to set us up for an environmental future.

Susana Hancock