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Pallone, Carper File Amicus Brief Defending States’ Clean Cars Authority

Jan 20, 2023
Press Release

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today filed an amicus brief in the pending case of Ohio v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

In this case, several states are challenging EPA’s reinstatement of the Clean Air Act waiver for the Advanced Clean Cars program, which allows California and other states to establish greenhouse gas emissions standards for automobiles that are stronger than federal standards. 

“For over 50 years, EPA has respected California’s ability to set more protective vehicle-emissions standards. Last year, with the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress reaffirmed EPA’s authority and obligation to protect public health and the environment from dangerous air pollution – including through state vehicle-emissions standards. The landmark law also made unprecedented investments to support broader state adoption,” Congressman Pallone said. “Petitioners in Ohio v. EPA seek to rewrite this history and derail the significant progress made by the Clean Air Act to improve air quality and tackle the climate crisis. It’s imperative the Court rejects the Petitioners’ flawed arguments, in order to protect the right to clean air for all Americans.”

“The Biden administration’s decision to reinstate the California waiver was consistent with more than fifty years of actions by Congress and EPA,” said Senator Carper. “In the Clean Air Act, Congress explicitly gave California the authority to set more ambitious vehicle-emissions standards and allowed other states to adopt those standards. Congress has repeatedly reaffirmed this state authority to improve air quality and protect public health—most recently in the Inflation Reduction Act. Through this law, we provide millions of dollars for states like Delaware to adopt these cleaner car standards, which the litigants are trying to block. The Court should reject this misguided effort to turn back the clock on these critical clean air and climate protections.” 

The full text of the amicus brief is available here.

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