California sues to defend national clean auto rules

Blanche Robertson
May 3, 2018

Right now, the state has a waiver from the federal government to set its own standards.

Today's lawsuit was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The controversial plan weakens these national standards considerably and overrides state standards allowed for in the Clean Air Act. "The only way we're going to overcome that is by reducing emissions", Gov.

One effect of a rollback would be to "arbitrarily and capriciously" cancel an agreement California and the environmental agency hashed out several years ago to harmonize their emissions standards so vehicle and truck makers wouldn't have to deal with two conflicting sets of rules. It's of particular importance to California because the state was planning to abandon its own strict standards and go along with national standards for the sake of uniformity and predictability.

An EPA spokesperson said the agency "does not comment on pending litigation". They were set in 2012 when California and the Obama administration agreed to single nationwide fuel economy standard. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, said in a press release.

"Virginia is already feeling the effects of climate change, especially in our coastal areas, and can not afford a further delay of action to address this urgent threat to our economic and environmental well-being", said Attorney General Herring.

A poll taken last month by the American Lung Association found that by a 65-26 percent margin, Americans support keeping in place the existing tough fuel economy standards. Together, the states represent a significant share of the automobile market.

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However, amendments passed loosened the bill's abortion restrictions, allowing the bill to garner extra votes it needed to pass. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who is anti-abortion, has yet to publicly state if she will sign into the law or not.

Pruitt, who has sought to block or delay an array of environmental regulations, has argued that assumptions about gas prices and vehicle technology used by the Obama administration to set the standards were too optimistic.

Speakers at a "global trends" panel - representatives of UPS, Navistar, Cummins, Honda and the California Air Resources Board - repeatedly said that they would prefer the single national emissions standard promulgated under the previous administration remains in effect.

On April 13, 2018, the EPA reversed course and claimed that the clean vehicle standards for model years 2022-2025 should be scrapped.

In announcing the latest legal maneuver against the EPA, Brown did something new: applying an insulting nickname to embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, calling him "Outlaw Pruitt".

The NYT explains that after executives from General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler visited the White House to request more lenient emissions rules, Trump's administration began to try and roll back the standards.

She said a 1,200-page technical analysis found the current standards were working and at a much lower cost for the auto manufacturers. The EPA hasn't offered proposed new standards but has drafted new regulations that would weaken the rules post-2020.

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