Huffman, Tonko Lead Amicus Brief Opposing the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

April 24, 2020

Amicus Brief Filed to U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Argues Against EPA Replacement of Obama Administration Clean Power Plan with Trump Administration So-Called Affordable Clean Energy Rule 

In Show of Strong Congressional Support, Brief Signed by Over 70 Members of Congress, Including Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representatives and Jared Huffman (CA-02) and Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) led an amicus brief today to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) replacement of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) with the Trump Administration’s so-called Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. The brief asserts that EPA acted well within its broad authority under the Clean Air Act to issue the Clean Power Plan and rejects its repeal by the Trump Administration.

“EPA’s conclusion that the Clean Power Plan was unlawful cannot be reconciled with the Clean Air Act’s text, structure, or history,” Huffman and Tonko said. “We joined with our colleagues to file this brief because the Clean Air Act and its amendments granted EPA authority with significant flexibility to address unforeseen air pollution challenges, including climate change, and we believe that the Clean Power Plan was clearly within this broad authority. We will continue to oppose this Administration’s willful misinterpretations of environmental laws that seek to justify rolling back critical public health protections and undermine future Administrations’ ability to safeguard our environment and the American people.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce signed on to the brief along with 71 other members. 

“Congress specifically equipped EPA with the necessary tools to address both current air pollution problems and ones that may arise in the future, and ACE falls far short of EPA’s obligations to use that authority to protect human health and the environment,” said Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. “I voted for the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and know it is EPA's duty to control air pollution to safeguard Americans’ health, and the Clean Power Plan was well within this authority.”

The full text of the amicus brief can be found here.

Below is the full list of the members of Congress who signed the brief:

U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko, Jared Huffman, Nancy Pelosi, Steny H. Hoyer, James E. Clyburn, Ben Ray Luján, Frank Pallone, Jr., Kathy Castor, Peter A. DeFazio, Eliot L. Engel, Raúl M. Grijalva, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Marcy Kaptur, James P. McGovern, José E. Serrano, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Joyce Beatty, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Earl Blumenauer, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Suzanne Bonamici, Julia Brownley, Salud O. Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, Sean Casten, Yvette D. Clarke, Emanuel Cleaver, II, Steve Cohen, Gerald E. Connolly, Jason Crow, Diana DeGette, Debbie Dingell, Michael F. Doyle, Anna G. Eshoo, Adriano Espaillat, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Al Green, Debra A. Haaland, Alcee L. Hastings, Brian Higgins, Joseph P. Kennedy, III, Ann M. Kuster, Andy Levin, Mike Levin, Ted Lieu, Alan S. Lowenthal, Doris O. Matsui, A. Donald McEachin, Jerry McNerney, Grace F. Napolitano, Joe Neguse, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ilhan Omar, Ed Perlmutter, Scott H. Peters, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Mike Quigley, Raul Ruiz, Bobby L. Rush, John P. Sarbanes, Janice D. Schawkowsky, Darren Soto, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Marc A. Veasey, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Peter Welch.

U.S. Senators Michael F. Bennet, Benjamin L. Cardin, Thomas R. Carper, Dianne Feinstein, Edward J. Markey, and Chris Van Hollen.