WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today filed an amicus brief in the pending case of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) before the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
In the case, a group of states and fuel providers are challenging the NHTSA’s fuel economy standards for motor vehicles on the basis that, among other things, the standards assume the validity of states’ clean cars rules adopted under the Clean Air Act. The challengers and aligned intervenors claim that states’ rules to limit vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions are preempted by the federal law authorizing fuel economy standards.
“Congress and the courts have been clear—the Clean Air Act authorizes states to set standards to limit air pollution, including greenhouse gases, from motor vehicles,” said Chairman Carper. “In fact, Congress recently doubled down on its support for state clean vehicles standards by giving states funding to adopt such standards in the Inflation Reduction Act. Many states, including my own state of Delaware, rely on these programs to improve our air quality, protect public health, and address the existential threat of climate change. The Court should readily reject this ill-founded attempt to stop states from protecting their residents from dangerous air pollution from motor vehicles.”
“Once again, Big Oil and its allies are trying to overturn our ability to support state adoption of protective vehicle-emissions standards,” said Ranking Member Pallone. “Congress has repeatedly reaffirmed EPA’s longstanding authority to protect public health and the environment from air pollution—including by permitting strong state vehicle-emissions standards. Fuel Intervenor’s argument that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act preempts California’s Zero-Emissions Vehicles standard is not in line with the text of the law and violates decades of clear congressional intent. Senator Carper and I urge the Court to reject this effort to undermine our vehicle emissions standards and uphold our ability to protect the right to clean air for all Americans.”
This filing comes after Carper and Pallone recently filed amici briefs defending states’ right to establish emissions standards for motor vehicles that are stronger than federal standards in the case of Ohio v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and defending EPA’s authority to set emissions for motor vehicles in the case of Texas v. EPA.
The full text of the amicus brief is available here.