Less than 24 hours. That is how long it took for 17 states to respond to the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to roll back fuel economy standards and revoke California’s ability to set its own mileage and emissions mandates.
The 17 states filed suit in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The move was led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the suit alleges that that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to roll back the stringent gas mileage rules that were adopted by former President Barack Obama’s administration is “unlawful.”
California was joined by Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Minnesota also joined the lawsuit through its Pollution Control Agency and Department of Transportation.
The filing coincides with National Air Quality Week, which is designed to promote ways to improve air pollution.
Automakers have argued that the current requirements would have cost the industry billions of dollars and raised vehicle prices due to the cost of developing the necessary technology.
EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt (pictured right), announced last month that the current standards were too high and should be revisited. He said President Barack Obama’s administration cut the Midterm Evaluation process short and “made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality.”
The Obama-era regulations would have raised efficiency requirements to about 50 miles per gallon by 2025, almost twice what they are now.
“While the EPA affirmed these standards last year, in April 2018 the Trump Administration, without evidence to support the decision, reversed course and claimed that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2022 to 2025 vehicles should be scrapped,” Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement. “The states believe that EPA has acted arbitrarily and capriciously, has failed to follow its own Clean Car regulations, and has violated the Clean Air Act.”
"California and our partner states have sued the EPA in order to preserve the greenhouse gas emission standards currently in place for model year 2022 to 2025 vehicles,” Jepsen said. “These standards are estimated to reduce carbon pollution equivalent to 134 coal power plants burning for a year and to save drivers $1,650 per vehicle.”
For full press release from California Governor, Edmund Brown Jr., click here.