California is preparing to sue the Trump administration after the EPA moved Thursday to dramatically roll back Obama-era regulations allowing the state to determine vehicle emissions standards.
President Donald Trump’s proposal, if passed, would prevent California and the 12 states that follow the state’s strict standards from setting their own agenda on fuel emissions. Attorneys general from Massachusetts and New York are joining California AG Xavier Becerra’s lawsuit.
“The pollution we’re all seeing, certainly here in LA we see it every day, that pollution if fueling the death and destruction,” Becerra told reporters during a conference call, noting that fuel emissions are contributing to global warming, which he believes is causing wildfires.
Logging, thinning, and activities designed to reduce fuel loads are often blamed for creating an environment conducive for wildfires. Experts say human land management practices and encroachment of development into wildfire-prone areas overwhelms any signal from global warming.
“We have lead from the very beginning, and we will lead again when it comes to protecting the national standards for cleaner cars,” the Democratic AG added. The EPA and the Department of Transportation’s proposal caps fuel emissions at 2020 levels.
One of the attorneys general who is joining Becerra’s lawsuit argues the Trump administration’s decision is not based in real science. “It’s insane to make cars less efficient– the devastating impact this is going to have on public health,” Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro said in a press call.
Trump’s move is a full-on assault targeting a key component of his Democratic predecessor’s regulatory regime. (RELATED: REPORT: Trump Prepares To Scrap Obama-Era Fuel Efficiency Rules)
Former President Barack Obama raised the average fuel economy of automobiles to more than 50 miles per gallon within 10 years. California got permissions from the Obama administration to issue its own, higher emissions standards.
They require cars get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The rules would cut 540 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and save consumers money, officials estimated.
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