California leads states in suing Trump over vehicle emissions rollback

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia are challenging a Trump administration plan to roll back auto emissions rules.

Led by California, the group of states - which represent 40 per cent of the U.S. vehicle market - announced a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday, arguing its plan to revise fuel and emissions standards is in violation of the Clean Air Act. The agency began a rule-making process to revise the standards.

But lowering the standards would create a nationwide divide.

"These emission standards are common sense - protecting our air and mitigating our contributions to climate change, all while saving drivers money at the pump", said Attorney General Schneiderman.

"The only way we're going to overcome that is by reducing emissions", California Gov.

California has a separate set of standards that, because of the state's huge auto market, have pushed automakers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The clean-car rules were slated to improve the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 50 percent by 2025, to nearly 55 miles per gallon.

However, the EPA, under Pruitt's leadership, reviewed the regulations and asserted that the earlier assessments cut corners and set standards too high.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 16 other Attorneys General sued the EPA over CAFE mandates.

Brown, who leaves office at the end of 2018, has staked a great deal of his personal political legacy on the battle over climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency last month moved to scrap the standards for cars and "light duty" trucks to be sold in model years 2022-2025.

Since his appointment as EPA chief, Pruitt has been criticized for announcing plans to implement restrictions on what kinds of science the EPA can use to fulfill its mission to protect public health and the environment. According to the Pew Charitable Trust "Stateline" project, state attorneys general filed 36 lawsuits against the White House previous year alone. Together, the states represent a significant share of the automobile market. In a move championed by the golden state of California, they will fight against the administration's revisions of Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas emission rules - one of his most significant measures against climate change. 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.

The Trump administration might not believe in climate change and could not care less about the environment, but the rest of the U.S. does.

"Outlaw Pruitt" also, it is likely, is meant to allude to the EPA administrator's frequent violations of federal expense, travel, and security protocols, and, well, good taste.

California regulators, grappling with some of the worst smog problems in the nation, first explored stricter emissions standards in 2004.

  • Leroy Wright