States sue Trump administration over vehicle emissions
States sue Trump administration over vehicle emissions

A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia, led by California, filed suit [petition, PDF] against the Trump administration Tuesday to defend an Obama-era rule on vehicle emissions standards.

The existing regulations would have required vehicles to meet certain fuel-efficiency standards for model years 2022-2025.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] reached a determination [press release] last month that the rules should be reconsidered. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, “the Obama Administration’s determination was wrong. … 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.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said [press release] Tuesday:

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. … Enough is enough. We’re not looking to pick a fight with the Trump Administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families’ health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them.

The lawsuit, filed in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, alleges that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously, failed to follow its own regulations and violated the Clean Air Act.