The Supreme Court’s ruling against the EPA could prove to be a disaster for EVERY government agency. Also, the Wisconsin attorney general is trying to hold more than a dozen companies accountable for poisoning citizens in the state with PFAS chemicals. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The Supreme Court’s ruling against the EPA could prove to be a disaster for every government agency. Wow. We take a look at this, you take this ruling on the EPA and you say, well, it’s just really the EPA. No, it’s not the EPA, is it? The EPA is, it’s the beginning. It’s the beginning of this thing that where you, where, where what you’re doing is redesigning how regulations take place. You’re, you’re saying to regulators in general, there’s some things that you can’t regulate without the help of Congress. Right?

Farron Cousins:                  Right. Because the whole EPA ruling was, yeah, I know you want to regulate under the clean air act, these certain emissions from the coal-fired power plants, but the legislation didn’t explicitly say you could do it. Therefore you cannot do it until Congress writes the legislation and says you can. So horrible for the environment, horrible for human health. But think of the implications for OSHA, for the FDA.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, all of these, the SEC.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  Oh, we didn’t say you could prosecute Wall Street criminals in the legislation. So of course you can’t do that. I mean, the, the possibilities are endless about how this can be reinterpreted for other agencies.

Mike Papantonio:             The term is, the term that they used in the order was major question doctrine. You’re gonna hear that term. Major question doctrine is say, it says that there’s some things that are just too big for regulators to do. And we’re gonna take that power away from the regulators. As you say, EPA, FDA, SEC, whatever the regulator may be and we’re gonna require that Congress actually passed some legislation to step into that, into that space. They did say in the opinion that we’re only gonna have this major question doctrine apply only in extraordinary cases. Really?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and the EPA had basically already ruled in this, not the EPA, excuse me, the Supreme Court had already ruled twice that the EPA did have the authority to do it before coming with this decision saying, oh wait, no, you don’t.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  So I don’t think that was a, you know, extraordinary circumstance. We’re gonna see ’em come after other agents.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. It’s a fundamental change in the court’s position on regulation.

Mike Papantonio:             The Wisconsin attorney general is trying to hold more than a dozen companies accountable for poisoning citizens in the state with PFAS chemicals. You and I have done this story again and again. I don’t know, here again, how often do you see this story covered in the media?

Farron Cousins:                  Oh, never. This was a blurb kind of in the Chicago Sun Times. Had it not been for that I wouldn’t have seen it anywhere.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. You know why that is? 3M is one of the ugly ugliest. DuPont is one of the companies that we dealt with. We dealt with them up in the Ohio River Valley. But the truth is, 3M has contaminated water to where people, people, they don’t understand that this stuff will kill you. It causes cancer. It causes birth defects. And everybody, even if I were to tell, I was with some folks this weekend, they were, they were talking about, well, we just got this notice about PFAS in our water, think everything’s okay. No, everything is not okay. I mean, give me your take on it. You followed this story as much as I have.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. I mean, look, this, this is, it’s in my body right now. It’s in your body. 98% of people watching this, it’s in your body right now and it’s bioaccumulative. It’s going to build up over time.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  So what this Wisconsin attorney general is doing here is, is really trying to get his state to do what other states have done and say, listen, we’ve gotta hold these people accountable. It’s 16 companies, 3M, Tyco Fire, BASF, all these other companies as well saying, you guys knew you were poisoning us. You told nobody.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  You let it happen.

Mike Papantonio:             Worst yet, the media kept it secret.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             The DOJ, the DOJ, we gave our information that we had in the Ohio River Valley to the DOJ. They have all of that information. Nobody’s been prosecuted. Nobody has, there’s been no meaningful criminal investigation that has followed the money here to where we know they’ve known about this for 50 years, they’ve been getting away with. US Chamber of Commerce. Everybody thinks, oh, the US Chamber of Commerce is mom and pop, they’re, they’re out there for us. No. US Chamber of Commerce. If you look at their board, they’re heavily heavily 3M folks. So the US Chamber of Commerce started a campaign to say, ah, this is not that bad. Don’t worry about PFAS. Every scientist that studied this said, it’s a killer. And even when you tell people it’s in your drinking water, that your kids are drinking it, it’s like, it’s like a yawn moment. It’s like when we post this and we talk about, you know, when this segment is posted and you compare this segment and, and, and the numbers of people coming through to look at this segment compared to a political segment, won’t be a comparison. And we’re talking about stuff that’ll kill you.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. Exactly, and that is part of the problem is getting the public to actually care about these things that are in your body that will kill you. And the steps you, you know, hopefully might be able to take, to encourage your politicians to do something about it.

Mike Papantonio:             How, how about your local, how about your local water facility?

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Demand, I wanna see how much PFAS in our water. I mean, a lot of this stuff is, goes undisclosed.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. And, and that’s what people need to do. You have to take action because your life could be at stake here.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh, there’s no question.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.