Four Leading Environmental and Science Groups Call on Automakers to Support Clean Car Standards


Larisa Manescu, Sierra Club, 512-964-7144
Sharyn Stein, EDF, 202-905-5718,
Jake Thompson, NRDC, 301-602-3627,
Seth D. Michaels, UCS, 202-331-5662,

Washington, D.C. – The leaders of four of America’s largest and most influential environmental and science organizations – Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists – are jointly calling on eight automakers to withdraw from a Trump administration lawsuit challenging state clean car authority, and instead lead America toward the clean cars of the future.

The Trump administration has finalized rules to roll back the popular and successful national Clean Car Standards while also eliminating states’ authority to set protective clean car standards – authority that is part of the Clean Air Act and has been in use for more than half a century. California and 13 other states and the District of Columbia – representing more than a third of U.S. new car sales – have committed to strong clean car standards.

Both Trump administration rollbacks are being challenged in court, including by the four major environmental and science groups. A number of key auto manufacturers, including Ford and Honda, are publicly supporting the states’ clean car standards. However, other automakers joined the lawsuit in support of the Trump administration.

Last week, General Motors announced that it was withdrawing from the lawsuit. GM CEO Mary Barra said “the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions” and expressed confidence “that the Biden Administration, California, and the U.S. auto industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs, can collaboratively find the pathway that will deliver an all-electric future.”

Eight other automakers – Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota – are still part of the lawsuit in support of the Trump administration.

Today, the heads of the four environmental and science groups released the following joint statement, calling on those eight automakers to show immediate leadership in support of clean car standards:

“The federal and California clean car standards have saved thousands of lives from deadly air pollution, are the most important climate safeguards in our nation, and save families hard-earned money at the gas pump at a time when every dollar saved could not be more important. The American people have been asked to pay a heavy price for the recent attacks on these life-saving protections with their health and their pocket books.

“We respectfully request that you immediately withdraw from litigation against the vital U.S. and state clean cars program. We also ask that you publicly commit to provide leadership in supporting the next generation of clean car standards to help eliminate the array of climate, nitrogen oxides and particulate pollution from new motor vehicles by 2035 while creating new high quality jobs.”

- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund

- Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of Natural Resources Defense Council

- Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club

- Kenneth Kimmell, president of Union of Concerned Scientists


One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 23 countries and across the E.U. to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

The Sierra Club is America’s largest grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.8 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. For more information, go to

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.8 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit