Media Moves and News

22 U.S. states sue Trump administration over fuel efficiency legislation

May 28, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

As many as 22 states as well as environmentalist groups are suing the Trump administration for its plans to ease earlier legislation regarding fuel efficiency.

David Shepardson reported the news for Reuters:

A group of 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging a Trump administration decision to weaken Obama-era fuel efficiency standards.

In March, the administration issued final rules requiring 1.5% annual increases in vehicle fuel efficiency through 2026 – far weaker than the 5% increases set under former President Barack Obama. The Trump administration also abandoned its August 2018 proposal to freeze requirements at 2020 levels through 2026.

California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols said the administration “used questionable science, faulty logic and ludicrous assumptions to justify what they wanted from the start: to gut and rewrite the single most important air regulation of the past decade.”

Rebecca Beitsch from The Hill wrote:

The March rule cuts the year-over-year improvements expected from the auto industry, slashing standards that require automakers to produce fleets that average nearly 55 mpg by 2025. Instead, the Trump rule would bring that number down to about 40 mpg by 2026, bringing mileage below what automakers have said is possible for them to achieve.

Attorneys general say the rule conflicts with laws requiring the government to set the maximum possible standard for automakers.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) told reporters the state would take the administration to court “with our three best allies by our side: the facts, the science and the law.”

A coalition of 12 environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a similar suit just moments later.

The Denver Post’s Bruce Finley reported:

This lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, contends the Trump rule violates the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

“We so depend on protecting our land, air and water for our lifestyle,” Weiser said in a conference call Wednesday with attorneys general Xavier Becerra of California and Dana Nessel of Michigan.

“Climate change is not a theoretical, looming challenge. It is there today,” Weiser said, referring to “less natural snowpack than ever before” and a growing burden on future generations to deal with climate change impacts.

 

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