SELC filed a lawsuit today in federal court to challenge the Trump Administration’s abrupt and illegal suspension of federal provisions designed to curb climate change pollution from cars and trucks. SELC is representing Clean Air Carolina in the suit, joining with the National Resources Defense Council who is representing itself and U.S. Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG.
The transportation sector is now the largest source of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) pollution in the United States. Combatting these emissions is a central focus of SELC’s Land and Community Program, and SELC applauded a regulation adopted by the Obama administration requiring states and cities to measure GHG emissions associated with National Highway System segments within their jurisdiction and to set pollution reduction targets. The guidelines set the U.S. on the trajectory toward a cleaner future.
“As the Southeast continues to grow, it is essential we have tools that will help to reduce harmful climate changing GHG emissions” said SELC attorney, Kym Hunter. “The time to act on this issue is now, and we cannot afford to sit by while the Trump administration suppresses collection of vital climate change data.”
“When the Trump administration abruptly jettisoned these common-sense provisions, running roughshod over proper procedures, SELC decided to challenge the action in court,” according to Trip Pollard, leader of SELC’s Land and Community Program. “This move is one of many recent examples of the White House and its agencies unlawfully ignoring procedures in the attempt to weaken or eliminate environmental protections.”
By filing this legal challenge, SELC aims to ensure that the GHG performance measure is reinstated and that the federal government cannot disregard climate change and block efforts to collect data and confront the climate impacts of transportation plans. SELC also intends to prevent the Trump administration from using illegal mechanisms to suspend regulations and instead compel it to follow proper, transparent procedures. Otherwise, such maneuvers are a threat SELC will likely confront in many more complex battles to come.