Clean Power Plan Amicus Briefs Show “Unstoppable Momentum for Climate Action”

April 1, 2016
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(Washington, D.C. — April 1, 2016) The ranks of official Clean Power Plan legal defenders grew by huge numbers today, as supporters of the historic measure to reduce climate pollution and protect public health filed amicus, or “friend of the court,” briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The D.C. Circuit is preparing for oral arguments in lawsuits about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan – the first time any court will consider the case on its merits. 

Today, rigorous amicus briefs were filed by hundreds of leaders across America with deep and diverse expertise including: Amazon; Apple; Google; Microsoft; Ikea; Mars Inc.; Adobe; Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts; 193 current Members of Congress; 54 cities, counties and mayors (including dozens in states litigating to obstruct these protections); former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta; former Republican EPA Administrators William D. Ruckelshaus and William K. Reilly; the Consumers Union; a broad cross-section of religious organizations; leading health and medical associations; and many of the nation’s leading experts on the electric grid, the Clean Air Act, and climate science.

“The extraordinary and diverse experts from across America who are defending the Clean Power Plan show the unstoppable momentum for climate action in America,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which is a party to the case. “These rigorous and compelling briefs are a vivid reminder that Americans are embracing the clean energy future and recognizing the importance of securing a safe climate for our health, economy, and generations to come. It makes me optimistic about the court battle ahead of us. EDF looks forward to presenting a strong case in defense of the Clean Power Plan.” 

The Clean Power Plan is the single biggest step America has ever taken to address the threat of climate change. It established the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from fossil-fuel fired power plants – the largest source of such pollution in the U.S.

EPA estimates that by 2030, the Clean Power Plan will:

  • Reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels
  • Save 3,600 lives annually
  • Prevent 90,000 childhood asthma attacks annually
  • Save American families almost $85 on their annual energy bill

Earlier this week, the EPA filed its defense of the Clean Power Plan. 

A large and diverse group of Clean Power Plan supporters also filed briefs as parties to the case, including: a coalition of 18 States and seven cities and counties; a large group of power companies; three advanced energy trade associations representing more than 3,000 companies and organizations in the advanced energy sector; and a coalition of public health and environmental groups, including EDF.

Oral arguments will take place on June 2 before a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court. 

You can find all today’s amicus briefs, and all other legal briefs in the case, on EDF’s website

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