EDF, Allies Intervene to Defend EPA’s Authority to Limit Climate Pollution from Power Plants

October 8, 2019
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – October 7, 2019) Environmental Defense Fund and a dozen other health and environmental groups want to go to court to defend EPA’s legal authority to set limits on climate pollution from power plants.

The groups filed a motion to intervene today in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that challenges that bedrock legal right.

“It is clear and established that EPA has both the legal authority and the responsibility to address the dangerous pollution that has caused our climate crisis. EDF will keep working to support that authority and to see that EPA uses it effectively to protect Americans from climate and health-harming pollution,” said EDF Lead Attorney Tomás Carbonell. “That’s why we are asking the court for permission to intervene in support of EPA in this suit, and are opposing EPA in court over its attempt to revoke the Clean Power Plan.”

Today’s action stems from the landmark Clean Power Plan, which established America’s only nationwide limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants – one of the largest sources of the pollution that causes climate change. In June, the Trump administration finalized an effort to scrap the Clean Power Plan and replace it with an inadequate substitute called the ACE rule that will yield no meaningful reduction in dangerous climate pollution — and could even lead to pollution increases in many parts of the country.

Four coal companies are suing EPA over that substitute, claiming the agency does not have the right to regulate carbon pollution from power plants at all. In today’s motion, EDF and its allies have asked to intervene in the case in support of EPA.

At the same time, EDF, other health and environmental groups, 23 states and eight local governments, nine power companies, and several clean energy trade associations are also suing EPA over the ACE rule because it fails to satisfy EPA’s obligations to properly control harmful climate pollution from existing power plants.

The American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Appalachian Mountain Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Clean Air Council, Clean Air Task Force. Clean Wisconsin, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club joined EDF on today’s motion to intervene.

Also today, the groups filed a motion asking the D.C. Circuit to order EPA to include certain important documents relevant to the ACE rule in the record being reviewed by the court. The documents, which include peer-reviewed research on the proposed ACE rule and other rigorous reports that are directly relevant to issues raised in the rule, became available only after the close of the public comment period for the proposed ACE rule. EPA included them in the rulemaking docket, but has excluded them from the official record.

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