U.S. Appeals Court Upholds EPA Carbon Pollution Limits

NRDC: "A Resounding Victory for Science, Law and Common Sense"

WASHINGTON (June 26, 2012) – The federal appeals court in Washington today delivered a resounding victory for science, the rule of law, and common sense by upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark actions to curb the dangerous carbon pollution driving climate change.

“This is a huge victory for our children's future. These rulings clear the way for EPA to keep moving forward under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon pollution from motor vehicles, new power plants, and other big industrial sources,” said David Doniger, senior attorney for the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In an unanimous opinion issued today covering four cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld EPA’s “endangerment” determination, its clean car standards, and its pollution permit requirements for big new industrial facilities.

NRDC is among the environmental and state intervenors that filed briefs in support of the EPA.

“The court upheld the agency's careful determination, based on a mountain of scientific evidence, that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants threaten our health and our planet,” Doniger said.

The three-judge panel also upheld the Obama administration’s first set of clean car and fuel economy standards, issued jointly by EPA and the Transportation Department in 2009. This gives EPA the green light to finalize a the second round of clean car standards later this summer that will cut new cars’ carbon pollution in half and double their fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

These historic agreements with the auto industry, auto workers, states and environmental group will cut carbon pollution, create jobs, and save consumers thousands of dollars at the pump.

EPA also is moving to complete the first national limits on carbon pollution from new power plants, proposed in April. More than 2 million Americans have raised their voices in public comments supporting carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.

For additional background information on these cases see this previous blog post from David Doniger.

For more background information on carbon emissions, see this clean air web page: http://www.nrdc.org/air/


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.