EPA’s Do-Nothing Proposed Rule on Aircraft Pollution Ignores Climate Harm

EDF statement from Annie Petsonk, International Counsel

October 20, 2020
Raul Arce Contreras, (240) 480-1545, rcontreras@edf.org

As the Environmental Defense Fund indicated in comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday on the proposed rule to control air pollution from airplanes and airplane engines, it is patently illegal for EPA, having found that aviation climate pollution endangers public health and welfare, to propose a standard that achieves, in EPA’s own words, “no benefit (no emission reduction).”    

“Our nation is in a climate crisis. To avoid catastrophic climate impacts, it is imperative that heat-trapping emissions go down. But as EPA’s own analysis indicates, the proposed standard will not drive emissions down. It simply embodies what the industry has already baked in. To justify its approach, EPA relied on a problematic estimate of the costs of doing nothing, arbitrarily ignoring the real costs of climate pollution that people across the country are facing every day.  

“EPA has a chance to put in place a stringent set of aircraft pollution standards that would not only help clean our air and put airlines in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, but that could also help restore the public’s faith in flying.  

“As the aviation industry tries to bounce back from COVID, it must put addressing the climate crisis at the core of its recovery – and government needs to lead the way. A stringent aircraft pollution standard would mean jobs building the aircraft and creating the fuels of the future.  Instead, EPA’s proposed aircraft rule ignores the science and contravenes laws that require it to protect public health and the environment.

“We urge EPA to replace its proposal with standards that will actually reduce aircraft emissions, as one key element of a broader package of carrots and sticks to get the aviation industry to take real steps to cut climate pollution.” 

  • Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund 

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