Aircraft, ship and non-road vehicles and engines are major contributors to global warming pollution. Together they are responsible for 24 percent of U.S. mobile source greenhouse gas emissions, and emit approximately 290,000 tons of soot every year. Pollution from these sources is projected to grow rapidly over coming decades. Annual U.S. shipping emissions alone are equivalent to from 130 million to 195 million cars and are on track to triple over the next 20 years.
In late 2007 and early 2008, in the wake of the Supreme Court's determination in Massachusetts v. EPA, that EPA must regulate carbon dioxide to address climate change, Earthjustice represented a coalition of environmental groups in petitioning EPA to regulate global warming pollutants from these sources. Despite having had more than two years to do so, EPA has not responded to the petitions.
On June 11, 2010, a day after the U.S. Senate voted to uphold EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Earthjustice filed suit challenging EPA's failure to address such pollution from ocean-going ships, aircraft and nonroad vehicles and engines. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in the District of Columbia by Earthjustice on behalf of Oceana, Friends of the Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety, and the International Center for Technology Assessment.
Today has turned into a better day for our planet—and our lungs. In a landmark decision, the D.C. federal appeals court upheld every single one of the EPA’s carbon pollution limits. These EPA protections are in response to the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, and are important parts of the agency’s efforts to curb such pollution under the Clean Air Act.