California Governor Jerry Brown, along with his Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump administration over plans to scrap emission standards for new vehicles. The Golden State is joined by 16 other states in the lawsuit, The Hill is reporting.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by Trump appointee Scott Pruitt, removed existing standards that would have applied to cars and light-duty trucks produced in the model years 2022 through 2025. According to KABC-TV (Los Angeles), those standards would have required vehicles to get 36 miles per gallon by 2025 – 10 miles per gallon more than current standards.
In April, Pruitt announced that those standards are unrealistic.
“Based on our review and analysis of the comments and information submitted, and EPA’s own analysis, the Administrator believes that the current GHG emission standards for MY 2022–2025 light-duty vehicles presents challenges for auto manufacturers due to feasibility and practicability, raises potential concerns related to automobile safety and results in significant additional costs on consumers, especially low-income consumers.”
Becerra says those standards are necessary for two reasons. For one thing, they would help protect the environment: the rules would have reduced carbon emissions, the equivalent amount of 134 coal-burning power plants operating for a year. Second, the higher mileage would save the average driver $1,650 per vehicle.
“The American people are entitled to an impartial decision-maker,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “EPA Administrator Pruitt simply cannot be that person.” https://t.co/HWohUFDhDU
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) April 26, 2018
“The evidence is irrefutable: today’s clean car standards are achievable, science-based and a boon for hardworking American families. But the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt refuse to do their job and enforce these standards.”
Meanwhile, another California politician, Senator Diane Fenistein, said that the existing fuel standards were not unduly burdensome on the auto industry, and indeed, were saving the car manufacturers money.
“There simply is no acceptable justification for throwing the analysis out in order to roll back the standards.”
She also said that if the Trump administration continues to weaken fuel standards, there will be “additional lawsuits.”
Already 16 other states have joined California in this lawsuit. Those states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Specifically, this lawsuit alleges that the EPA violated two laws. First, the suit alleges that the EPA violated the Administrative Procedures Act, which prohibits “arbitrary and capricious decisions”; and second, that it violated the Clean Air Act.