Court Upholds Historic EPA Actions, Rebukes Texas’ Lawsuits To Undermine Health Protections


This morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a unanimous opinion affirming EPA’s protective carbon pollution standards issued under the Clean Air Act.  The Court upheld EPA’s science-based finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare (the “Endangerment Finding”) and the Clean Car Standards.    The court also dismissed petitions challenging the requirement for large industrial sources to install modern cost-effective solutions to address greenhouse gases and EPA’s common sense approach to inoculate small sources.  

Today’s ruling underscores what we have long known — that EPA’s climate protections are firmly grounded in science and law and will help secure a healthier, more prosperous future for all Americans.

EDF’s press statement is appended below. 

The court’s opinion is unanimous, strong, and emphatic.  Unfortunately, the lawsuits to obstruct these vital protections were brought by Texas and others. In today’s opinion, the court thoroughly rebuked those, like Texas, who attack science and obstruct progress in reducing climate pollution, noting “[t]his is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.”

Environmental Defense Fund, together with a large coalition of states and environmental organizations, intervened in defense of the clean air protections. Those protections include:  

  • The Climate Pollution Endangerment Finding, in which EPA – following the Supreme Court’s order in Massachusetts v. EPA – determined that climate pollution endangers human health and welfare on the basis of a rigorous review of the extensive body of climate science.
  • The Clean Car Standards, which establish cost-saving fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks. The standards are supported by U.S. auto makers and the United Auto Workers union, among others. They will save Americans thousands of dollars at the gas pump by enabling families to get more mileage out of each gallon of gas. They will also help break our nation’s addiction to imported oil and will cut the amount of dangerous pollution from vehicles.
  • Carbon Pollution Limits for Big New Power Plants and Industrial Sources (the Timing and Tailoring Rules), in which EPA is phasing-in requirements for use of the best available cost-effective pollution controls, starting with new, large industrial emitters (like power plants) while shielding smaller emitters.
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One Comment

  1. Posted August 3, 2013 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

    I agree that EPA laws should be grounded on scientific facts. If they are not, the laws would not help or protect anyone. I’m glad that there are articles like this to help the common people understand the science that goes behind the laws. At the end of the day, we are all affected