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ACTION TIMELINE

October 23, 2003 – The Center joined a large coalition of states and environmental organizations in filing the lawsuit Massachusetts v. EPA. The suit challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s refusal to issue rules to reduce greenhouse gases from cars under section 202 of the Clean Air Act, as requested in a 1999 petition filed by the International Center for Technology Assessment.

April 6, 2006The Center filed suit against the Bush administration’s new national gas-mileage standards for light trucks. The standards were far below the levels required by law and failed to adequately address global climate change, air quality, and other environmental issues.

April 2, 2007 – The Center and allies prevailed in Massachusetts v. EPA when the Supreme Court struck down the EPA’s blanket refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars under the Clean Air Act and ordered the agency to issue a determination on whether greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.

October 3, 2007 – The Center, along with other groups and represented by Earthjustice, filed a petition with the EPA asking the agency to set Clean Air Act pollution rules for large, oceangoing vessels.

November 15, 2007 – A federal appeals court sided with the Center in our April 2006 suit when it ruled in Center for Biological Diversity v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the Bush administration had violated the law by ignoring global warming when setting inadequate national gas-mileage standards for SUVs and pickup trucks.

December 5, 2007 – As part of a coalition of conservation groups and state and regional governments, the Center filed petitions with the EPA urging the agency to address the effects of vast amounts of global warming pollution from the world’s aircraft under the Clean Air Act.

March 28, 2008 – In response to November 2007’s settlement of Center for Biological Diversity v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Department of Transportation announced an environmental review of the corporate average fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles.

July 30, 2008 – The Center, Oceana and Friends of the Earth — represented by Earthjustice — followed up our October 2007 petition with a notice of intent to sue the EPA over its failure to address global warming pollution from oceangoing ships and aircraft.

April 17, 2009  – The EPA issued a preliminary finding that greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles endanger both public health and welfare, but the agency failed to propose any regulations to reduce those greenhouse gas emissions.

December 2, 2009 – The Center and 350.org petitioned the EPA to set national limits for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

December 7, 2009 – The Center applauded the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas pollution constitutes a threat to public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act.

April 1, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Transportation and the EPA finalized national regulations of greenhouse gas emissions from cars, light-duty trucks and SUVs. The standards, an important and historic step, were a significant improvement on the status quo yet still left the United States far behind other countries in fuel economy.

October 1, 2010 – The EPA and Department of Transportation announced their intent to improve fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks. The most ambitious of proposals would increase fuel efficiency by 6 percent a year, which would mean U.S. fuel efficiency would be approximately 37 miles per gallon for new cars and light trucks in 2017.

November 16, 2011 – The Obama administration proposed new fuel-emission standards for passenger cars and light trucks falling far short of the need to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas pollution — and also far short of what was achievable. 

December 21, 2011 – A transatlantic coalition of environmental groups — including the Center — applauded the decision of Europe’s highest court to uphold the European Union law to reduce carbon pollution from airplanes. The decision, from the Court of Justice of the European Union, affirmed that the EU law was fully compliant with international law.

November 27, 2012 –President Obama undermined efforts to reduce aviation carbon pollution by signing a bill shielding U.S. airlines from a European Union law tackling emissions from airplanes using European airports. 

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Steevven