EDF, Allies Join Effort to Defend EPA’s Clean Car Standards in Court

April 25, 2024
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – April 25, 2024) Environmental Defense Fund and thirteen other health, environmental, and public interest groups are moving to defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean car standards against a legal challenge.

The groups filed a motion to intervene with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday.

“Every year, roadside pollution causes premature deaths, and every year, the climate crisis takes a greater toll,” said Alice Henderson, EDF Director and Lead Counsel for Transportation and Clean Air. “While these standards reduce deadly pollution, they will also help create good jobs for American workers and provide more choices and more savings for consumers. EDF will be in court to defend these critically important safeguards.”

EPA finalized the clean car standards on March 20th of this year. They will reduce tailpipe pollution from new cars, passenger trucks, and medium-duty vehicles like delivery vans starting in model year 2027. Tailpipe pollution is one of the largest sources of climate pollution in the U.S., contributes to smog, and is a source of deadly particle pollution.

EPA’ s clean car standards will prevent more than seven billion tons of climate pollution from getting into our air by 2055, and they’ll accelerate the adoption of clean vehicles, including plug-in-hybrids and electric cars, that will save their owners money on fuel and maintenance costs – in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle.

Kentucky and a group of allied states sued to block the clean car standards on April 18th – in spite of the economic benefits clean cars are bringing to many of those states. Clean cars have sparked a manufacturing renaissance in America, with $188 billion in announced investment so far, much of it going to the states that are now asking the courts to overturn the clean car standards. Kentucky, which is leading the lawsuit, has seen almost $14 billion in investment and 14,000 jobs from clean cars. (Read more here)

“Opponents are asking the courts to help them kill their own golden goose,” said Henderson. “Clean cars are boosting the economies of the very states that want the standards overturned, and they are vitally important to the health and safety of people everywhere.”

California, 21 other states, the District of Columbia and four cities filed a motion on Monday to intervene in the case in defense of the clean car standards.

Yesterday EDF, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Appalachian Mountain Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, Clean Air Task Force, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Law & Policy Center, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, and Sierra Club filed their motion to intervene.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund