EDF, NRDC Outline Arguments for Appeal in Case Linked to Proposed Clean Car Standards Rollback

Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council have filed a brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a case related to the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of America’s Clean Car Standards.

The groups are asking the Second Circuit to reconsider a lower court decision that the administration does not have to disclose important information linked to that proposed rollback. The information in question may refute the administration’s flawed justification for its attack on the popular and successful Clean Car Standards. The brief outlines the substantial arguments for re-examining the case.

In the brief, the groups argue:

“EPA’s proposal to roll back existing emissions standards would undo one of the most important actions our government has ever taken to stave off catastrophic climate change. The public has a right to all the facts and investigative tools in EPA’s possession that relate to that change, even if the agency has ignored them.” (Brief, page 74)

The Clean Car Standards reduce pollution while saving Americans hard-earned money at the gas pump. The Trump administration is proposing to roll back the standards and instead require zero progress in reducing climate pollution from cars, SUVs and passenger trucks over the next six years.

Trump’s EPA is also refusing to let the public see a key technical analysis that may weaken the administration’s argument for a rollback.

That technical analysis is derived from the OMEGA model, a computer model long used to assess clean car protections. EPA made previous versions of the OMEGA model public as a matter of course, but it is refusing to release the latest version – which EPA records indicate would show the current Clean Car Standards can be achieved by automakers at a substantially lower cost than alleged by the administration.

EDF and NRDC filed a lawsuit after EPA failed to release information about the latest OMEGA model under the Freedom of Information Act. In August, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York declined to require EPA to disclose those records. The groups appealed to the Second Circuit last month.

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