Trump Administration Proposes “Cooking the Books” to Justify Undermining Clean Air Laws

Statement of EDF Lead Attorney Tomás Carbonell

June 4, 2020
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

“For the second time today, the Trump administration has attacked America’s vital health and environmental protections. This time they’re proposing to make it harder to issue clean air protections that save lives and protect the health of our communities – by cooking the books to downplay the benefits of these clean air safeguards, distorting science, and adding new hurdles for issuing clean air protections.

“For fifty years, the Clean Air Act has stood for the promise of healthy air for all Americans. The Trump administration has utterly betrayed that promise through its relentless campaign to dismantle vital climate and health protections. Today’s proposal is unfortunately a continuation of that shameful legacy, and would be especially detrimental to low-income and communities of color that are already suffering disproportionately from the harmful impacts of air pollution.

“As EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told reporters today, this proposal would open the door for the agency to selectively disregard the benefits of reduced air pollution when making decisions about vital clean air safeguards. That would mean disregarding benefits like fewer premature deaths and fewer childhood asthma attacks. It echoes key elements of Wheeler’s unlawful and harmful proposal to sharply restrict EPA’s ability to consider the best available health science when crafting clean air protections.

“Today’s proposal would make it harder for EPA to carry out its responsibility under the law, and it comes on the same day that President Trump was expected to sign an executive order allowing federal projects to bypass the National Environmental Policy Act. It also follows closely on the administration’s rollback of the Clean Car Standards and its decision to leave America with inadequate protections against particulate pollution.”EDF will keep fighting for the laws that keep us all safe from dangerous pollution.”

- Tomás Carbonell, EDF Director of Regulatory Policy and Lead Attorney

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.