Appeals Court Upholds Use of Best Available Science to Quantify Costs of Climate Pollution Damage

October 21, 2022

Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(October 21, 2022) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit today rejected a lawsuit by a group of Republican state Attorneys General that sought to prevent the Biden Administration from considering the societal cost of climate pollution – a science-based metric for determining the harm imposed on people across our nation by climate-destabilizing pollution.

“We need to act quickly, using the best available science and most up-to-date data, if we hope to protect ourselves and our communities from the climate crisis. This lawsuit was an attempt to use the courts to keep a weaker, older metric from the last administration in place, which would have exposed people across America to more danger,” said EDF Senior Counsel and Associate Vice President for Clean Air Strategies Peter Zalzal “Today’s Eighth Circuit decision means the Biden administration can continue using a protective, more accurate metric as it develops policies and safeguards to limit climate pollution and protect the American people from the climate crisis.”

The lawsuit was brought by the states of Missouri, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. A unanimous three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit rejected the states’ arguments. The U.S. Supreme Court  in May declined to reinstate a lower court injunction limiting policymakers’ reliance on the more rigorous and protective method in another case that is now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

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