Amicus Brief on Trump Administration’s Attempt to Revoke California’s Clean Car Standards


On behalf of U.S. members of Congress, the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic filed an amicus brief in a D.C. Circuit case on July 6, 2020.

July 6, 2020
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Cara Horowitz, Julia Stein, Benjamin Harris, Ann Carlson

On behalf of 29 U.S. Senators and 118 U.S. Representatives, the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic filed an amicus brief on July 6, 2020, in a D.C. Circuit case challenging the Trump administration's attempt to revoke California's clean car standards. 

In a 2019 rule, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) preempts California from enacting standards to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles or adopt zero-emission vehicle mandates, a determination EPA used, in the same rule, to justify revoking a Clean Air Act waiver EPA previously approved for California to enact those standards.  

As members of Congress, the amici offer a unique understanding of the laws the administration relies upon to support its flawed determination. Some of the amici helped develop and enact the statutory language analyzed in the rule.

The brief argues that the agencies’ conclusions directly conflict with the letter of EPCA, Congress’s intent in enacting it, and more than forty years of implementation of the law.

View the brief

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