Landmark Court Decision Upholds EPA's Actions to Protect Families

Earlier this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed – via a unanimous ruling – several important steps taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the health of American families, save consumers money at the pump, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. 

This was a landmark decision with several key components: 

  • The Court upheld EPA’s science-based finding that carbon pollution endangers the public’s health and welfare, noting the “substantial record evidence.” 
  • The Court protected the Administration’s historic fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, adding that EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act was “unambiguously correct.” 
  • Finally, the Court dismissed several petitions challenging a requirement for some of the nation’s largest polluters – starting with new power plants – to install widely-available and cost-effective pollution control technology, while shielding smaller emitters, arguing that “no petitioner had standing.” 

This decision constitutes an important victory in the Obama Administration’s broader efforts to build a stronger, more innovative economy, create new jobs, and protect American families from harmful pollution. We believe these goals go hand in hand.

For example, take the Administration’s fuel economy standards. Taken together, the standards we have proposed span model years 2011 to 2025 and will save families more than $1.7 trillion at the pump, reduce oil imports by 2.2 million barrels a day, and cut greenhouse gas pollution by 6 billion metric tons – roughly equivalent to all such emissions from the United States last year.  

Moreover, these standards will catalyze innovation in the manufacturing sector and create new jobs throughout the supply chain. That includes companies, both big and small, that make everything from advanced engines and transmission systems to cutting-edge batteries and more efficient tires. 

The ruling made by the D.C. District Court earlier this week will help move our country towards cleaner energy future and build on the Administration’s work to create new jobs and protect the health and welfare of the American people. You can read the Court’s decision in full here.

Heather Zichal is Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change