EPA’s climate change protections under attack

A guide to the polluters involved, what’s at stake and recent updates from the courts

EPA’s common sense solutions to protect human health and the environment from harmful climate-altering pollution are being attacked in court by some of the largest polluters in our nation.

EDF’s attorneys helped successfully defeat polluters’ challenges to these vital clean air standards in in the D.C. Circuit Court of appeals. Now, polluters are trying to take the case to the Supreme Court — and EDF is again fighting back and defending EPA’s critical efforts to address our country’s greenhouse gas pollution

Petitions for Certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court

On June 26, 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found EPA’s actions to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act "unambiguously correct".

Nevertheless, industry groups and some states, led by Texas, continue to challenge EPA’s suite of critical climate protections, and have filed petitions for certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Learn more about some of these secretive industry groups and see the latest petitions in the case here and here.

EDF’s attorneys are working hard to see that the following results-driven rules are not threatened by the interests of big polluters:

  • The Climate Pollution Endangerment Finding — in which EPA, following the Supreme Court’s order in Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), determined that climate pollution (namely, the harmful mix of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydroflourocarbons, perflourocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride) endangers human health and welfare on the basis of a rigorous review of the extensive body of climate science.
  • The Clean Car Standards — which establish cost-saving fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks. This suite of rules not only stretches the mileage-per-gallon enjoyed by American drivers, but cuts the amount of dangerous pollution emitted from vehicles — all while encouraging U.S. innovation and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
  • Carbon Pollution Limits for Big New Power Plants and Industrial Sources (the Timing and Tailoring Rules) — through which EPA is phasing-in requirements for use of the best available cost-effective pollution controls, starting with new, large industrial emitters (like power plants) while shielding smaller emitters.

See a review of EPA’s greenhouse gas actions here.

The Supreme Court has granted review of one narrow question in the case. Oral Arguments are scheduled for February 24, 2014. Key filings can be found here.