Environmental Advocates Ask to Intervene in Legal Challenge to Fuel Economy Standards

August 1, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – August 1, 2022) Six of the nation’s leading environmental groups are moving to defend in court the fuel economy standards that protect Americans’ lives and health, save them money on gas for their cars and trucks, and help us address the climate crisis.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) set strong, protective standards earlier this year. An oil and gas industry trade association and a coalition of Republican Attorneys General are challenging them in court.

Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today to intervene in the case in support of the standards.

“Strong fuel economy standards have a wide range of benefits, including protecting public health and saving lives, saving people money on gas for their cars and passenger trucks, reducing the pollution that is causing the climate crisis, and improving our national security,” said EDF attorney Andy Su. “The standards are firmly grounded in science and the law and are vital to protect Americans from the market volatility that we continue to endure with the gas price shocks this year.”

NHTSA is required by law to determine the maximum feasible average fuel economy level that car and truck manufacturers can achieve in each model year, and then set national fuel economy standards at that level.

In May of this year NHTSA published its final fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks in model years 2024 to 2026. The standards would improve fuel economy by at least 8% each year, culminating in an average standard of 49 miles per gallon in 2026. NHTSA estimates the standards will save 60 billion gallons of gasoline, keep hundreds of millions of metric tons of climate pollution out of our air, save Americans $1,280 on gas over the life of their car, and significantly reduce unhealthy, smog-forming pollution. The transportation sector is one of the nation’s biggest sources of those harmful pollutants. It’s also our largest source of climate pollution.

You can read the motion to intervene here. Industry groups, including leading companies in the power and transportation sectors have also moved to defend the standards.

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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