A Dozen States Threatening Trump With Lawsuits Over Automobile Emissions Standards

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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A coalition of state and local officials are threatening to sue the President Donald Trump’s administration for rolling back vehicle emissions standards the Obama administration adopted.

A dozen state attorneys general, 57 mayors and one city supervisor signed a declaration posted on the website of America’s Pledge, which is a campaign composed of state and local officials dedicated to cutting emissions.

“Given our responsibilities to our citizens, we also strongly oppose and will vigorously resist any effort by the Administration to prevent states from enforcing reasonable, commonsense emissions performance standards for vehicle fleets sold in their jurisdictions,” the declaration states. “Such standards are particularly appropriate given the serious public health impacts of air pollution in our cities and states and the severe impacts posed by climate change, including recent storms, droughts, floods and fires that have hit multiple regions of the U.S. in just the past few years.”

The U.S. Climate Alliance, composed of 16 state governors and the governor of Puerto Rico, made a similar statement but stopped short of calling for legal action.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt would begin the process of revising Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, he announced Monday. The current regulations have set a target for auto manufactures to produce cars with an average fuel efficiency of 54 miles to the gallon by 2025.

The Obama CAFE standards will increase the cost of newer vehicle models, pricing out consumers who will decide to drive older, less-efficient cars. As cars on the road grow older, emissions will increase, according to Pruitt.

“The Obama EPA’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in a statement announcing the rollback. “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”

Auto manufactures may miss the 2025 target by only getting between 50 and 52.6 miles per gallon, the Obama EPA concluded in its own analysis.

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