Sierra Club Statement on DC Circuit Oral Hearings for Clean Car Standards


Larisa Manescu,

WASHINGTON, DC – This Thursday and Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is holding oral arguments on challenges from fossil fuel industry groups, ethanol industry groups, and Republican states on various clean car rules.

The Sierra Club is a party to both Texas v. EPA and Ohio v. EPA in support of the EPA, and NRDC v. NHTSA in support of NHTSA.

In response to the oral arguments, Senior Attorney Joshua Berman released the following statement: 

“From wildfires to hurricanes to record-breaking extreme heat, our communities have experienced the devastating impacts of a worsening climate crisis this summer. Protective but achievable clean vehicle standards cut pollution, combat climate change, save families money, and reduce oil consumption – so it is no surprise that Big Oil is behind attempts to attack these clean air and climate safeguards.

“There should be no question that the EPA is acting well within its long-standing authority to address vehicle pollution and authorize state leadership by California to protect residents from unhealthy air. And NHTSA’s standards are critical to ensuring that the fuel economy of combustion engine vehicles does not backslide as the vehicle fleet transitions to cleaner vehicles.” 

Background on cases:

Texas v. EPA (Thursday, Sept. 14)

The Texas Attorney General and a group of other state Attorneys General, along with oil and gas interests, are challenging the EPA’s climate pollution standards for cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2023-2026.

NRDC v. NHTSA (Thursday, Sept. 14) 

The Texas Attorney General and a group of other state Attorneys General, along with oil and ethanol interests, are challenging the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for model years 2024-2026.

Ohio v. EPA (Friday, Sept. 15)

The Ohio Attorney General and a group of like-minded state Attorneys General, along with oil, gas, and ethanol interests, are challenging EPA’s reinstatement of California’s long standing preemption waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state to set zero emission vehicle and greenhouse gas emissions standards that are at least as or more stringent than EPA’s national standards. California’s standards are authorized pursuant to very clear waiver authority granted to the state by Congress in the Clean Air Act, subject to approval by the EPA.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of 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