News & Publications

Firm Represents Coalitions of Local Governments and Environmental Organizations in Zero Emission Vehicle Rulemaking

On Friday, August 16, 2019, the Colorado State Air Quality Control Commission approved a regulation that makes Colorado the first state in more than a decade to adopt zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards, requiring automakers to sell increasing numbers of electric vehicles over time.  Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell represented two major parties to the proceeding—a coalition of five environmental organizations (Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Sierra Club, Western Resource Advocates (WRA), and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)) and a coalition of 25 local governments from around the state (Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA)).  Firm attorneys Tom Bloomfield, Sarah Keane, and Samantha Caravello briefed and argued the case in front of the Commission.

Travis Madsen from SWEEP praised partners Tom Bloomfield and Sarah Keane:  “Tom and Sarah are forces of nature.  They worked incredibly hard to position SWEEP and the Environmental Coalition for a decisive win.  They performed a great service for the people of Colorado: helping to clean our air, protect our climate, and save us money by winning adoption of the Zero Emission Vehicle program.”

“Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell did absolutely tremendous work on the ZEV rulemaking for CC4CA.  I can’t imagine a better team to work with.  It was an important victory for Coloradans and for the climate, and they deserve a lot of credit for their exceptional legal work,” said Jacob Smith, Executive Director of CC4CA.

Simon Mui with NRDC commented that, “Having Sarah and Tom at Kaplan Kirsch represent us for in two major clean car rule makings was vital to our effective engagement and to achieving successful outcomes. Their dedication and strategic engagement throughout a complex process was thoroughly impressive.”

“We are so pleased to again successfully represent clients on the most critical environmental issues facing Coloradans.  The Commissioners should be praised for carefully evaluating the evidence before them and choosing to adopt the ZEV program.  As we demonstrated during the proceeding, this rule will help to reduce both harmful ozone pollution and damaging climate pollution, while also increasing consumer choice and saving Coloradans money on the cars they drive,” said partner Tom Bloomfield.  “It’s a win-win.  The Commission appropriately rejected the scare tactics and arguments of opponents.”

“For the first time ever, auto manufacturers came together with state regulators to support the adoption of a ZEV program, which is groundbreaking.  Local governments, businesses, and communities around the state are ready to help in the transition to an electric vehicle economy and ensure the success of the Colorado ZEV program” said partner Sarah Keane.

Environmental Coalition’s Expert Witnesses (Left to Right: Sarah Keane, Tom Bloomfield, Chet France, John German, Gwen Farnsworth, Aaron Kressig, Chuck Shulock, Shannon Baker-Barnstetter).

For press coverage regarding this decision, please see the links below.