Calif. sues Trump administration over plan to scrap auto emission standards

17 US States Sue Trump Administration Over Roll Back of Vehicle Emission Standards

Trump's administration, answering pleas of auto executives, wants to roll back more stringent fuel efficiency standards promulgated during the final days of the predecessor Obama administration - rules that, at the time, California, other like-minded states and the auto industry jointly supported. The multi-state suit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The controversial plan weakens these national standards considerably and overrides state standards allowed for in the Clean Air Act.

"This is about health, it's about life and death", adds California Gov.

California's lawsuit argues that the EPA acted arbitrarily to overturn the clean-car standards, violating its own rules and the Clean Air Act. About a dozen states, including Vermont, follow the California standards. "But the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt refuse to do their job and enforce these standards", said Attorney General Becerra.

The EPA said in April that the standards are too restrictive and should be revised.

Jerry Brown and state Atty.

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Pruitt last month moved to reconsider fuel economy standards for the years 2022 through 2025, requirements set by the Obama administration and closely modeled on California's clean-car regulations.

While the EPA has indicated that it believes the standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles are now too stringent, the agency has not yet proposed new standards. Fortunately, so do 16 other states.

"Such a proposal, if finalized, would harm USA national and economic security, undermine efforts to combat global warming pollution, create regulatory and manufacturing uncertainty for the automobile industry and unnecessary litigation, increase the number of gasoline consumers would have to buy, and runs counter to statements that both of you have made to Members of Congress", Carper wrote.

The challenge marks California's 10 lawsuit against the EPA. As such, carmakers routinely ensure new vehicles are manufactured according to the more demanding Californian state vehicle emissions standards. We believe this latest set of environmental goals, put in place by the Obama Administration, are the logical outcome and continuation of this decades-old practice, and are very achievable by the industry.

In a new study contrasting the effects on consumers of energy efficiency standards versus energy taxes, the Georgetown economist Arik Levinson notes that both energy efficiency standards and energy taxes function as a regressive tax, taking a larger percentage of a lower income and a smaller percentage of a higher income. "The EPA can not stop Americans from taking action on climate change", United Nations special envoy for climate action and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

This fight is clearly still just in its early stages, and it will be watched closely as its repercussions will be felt around the world, starting right here in Canada.

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