WASHINGTON, D.C. | January 19, 2021
In response to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision to vacate and remand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule, the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association and Clean Air Task Force issued the following statement:
“Today’s decision is a monumental victory for public health and sound science. We are pleased that the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has acknowledged that EPA’s ACE rule was fundamentally flawed.
“The court’s 3-0 vote to throw out the ACE rule entirely is a win for all Americans and paves the way for the Biden Administration to issue a much stronger and more protective climate rule. The majority of the three-judge panel affirmed that it is simply not lawful for EPA to use its legal authority under the Clean Air Act in ways that will increase dangerous air pollutants that harm the health of Americans.
“Our organizations challenged EPA’s actions to repeal the Clean Power Plan and adopt the ACE rule because they did not fulfill EPA’s legal duties and obligations to protect public health under the Clean Air Act. EPA’s actions increased harmful climate pollution and took a huge step backward in the critical race to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Climate change is a serious public health emergency, already taking a toll on the health of millions of people across the United States.
“What’s more, independent research from 2019 predicted that the ACE rule would have resulted in some fossil fuel plants running more often and delaying their retirement, which would mean increased emissions of dangerous pollution as compared to the Clean Power Plan, and even as compared to no rule at all.
“Today’s decision to vacate the ACE rule places the EPA under the new Administration in a great position to craft a new rule that reduces climate pollution and reduces the public health impacts of climate change. We call on President-elect Biden to seize this critical opportunity. Not only can EPA meaningfully tackle climate change, the agency can also help correct decades-old injustices and inequities by reducing pollution in communities next to power plants and other polluting sources.”
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.
Clean Air Task Force is a nonprofit environmental organization of scientists, engineers, MBAs, policy experts, lawyers and communications professionals in offices across the U.S. We work to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid global development and deployment of emerging and proven low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies through research and analysis, public legal advocacy, promoting thought leadership and partnership with the private sector. For more information, please visit www.catf.us.
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