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Center for Biological Diversity v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
538 F.3d 1172 (2008)


Facts

The Center for Biological Diversity, three other public interest organizations, 11 states, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York (plaintiffs) filed petitions in the federal court of appeals against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (defendant) seeking review of an NHTSA proposed rule establishing the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for light trucks, some sport utility vehicles, and minivans, for model years 2008-2011. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that prior to drafting the proposed rule, NHTSA’s draft Environmental Assessment (EA) failed to adequately address the impact the CAFE standards would have on carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of global climate change. Consequently, plaintiffs claimed NHTSA violated the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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