(New York City – January 14, 2020) The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard arguments today that could decide whether the Trump administration must release important information related to its proposed rollback of America’s popular and successful Clean Car Standards.
Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council asked the Second Circuit to reconsider a lower court decision that allowed the administration to withhold that information – which may refute the faulty justification for the proposed rollback.
“The Trump administration’s attacks on the Clean Car Standards could undo one of the most important steps our country has ever taken to protect us from climate change – a step that also saves families money and reduces dangerous air pollution,” said EDF senior attorney Martha Roberts. “The American public has a right to know about the deeply damaging proposal to roll back the Clean Car Standards and any flaws in the analyses used to justify it. We’ll keep fighting to shine a bright light on the Trump administration’s actions.”
The Clean Car Standards reduce pollution while saving Americans hard-earned money at the gas pump. The Trump administration is proposing to roll back the standards and instead require zero progress in reducing climate pollution from cars, SUVs and passenger trucks over the next six years. The administration’s own analysis concluded that this approach would add more than seven billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere by 2100.
Trump’s EPA is also refusing to let the public see a key computer model that may weaken the administration’s argument for a rollback.
That technical analysis is derived from the OMEGA model, a computer model long used to assess clean car protections. EPA made previous versions of the OMEGA model public as a matter of course, but it is refusing to release the latest version – which EPA records indicate would show the current Clean Car Standards can be achieved by automakers at a substantially lower cost than alleged by the administration.
EDF and NRDC filed a lawsuit after EPA failed to release information about the latest OMEGA model under the Freedom of Information Act. In August, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York declined to require EPA to disclose those records.
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