The Trump administration announced plans Thursday to revoke an Obama-era rule limiting tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide – and 19 states plus Washington, DC, are planning to sue the EPA if the rule is rolled back, according to WHEC TV.
California has long had a waiver to set its own emissions standards because of its air quality issues. The Obama administration’s fuel economy and emissions regimen was formulated with California regulators, the EPA, and NHTSA, which regulates fuel economy, in a move was meant to unify standards across the 50 states in order to avoid the challenging possibility of each state having different fuel economy standards.
Trump’s administration also called for withdrawing California’s waiver; California Governor Jerry Brown calls Trump’s plan “reckless” and said the state would “…fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible,” writes CNN.
The state Attorneys General that plan to sue the EPA say the plan would add the carbon emissions equivalent of 400 million cars. They released the following statement:
“Federal rules to limit tailpipe pollution and improve fuel economy are our best strategy to reduce carbon pollution, improve air quality, and save drivers money on gas. The Administration’s proposal to weaken these rules will cause the American people to breathe dirtier air and pay higher prices at the pump. If adopted, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s rollbacks will cost American drivers hundreds of billions of dollars. Freezing or weakening these standards puts the health of our children, seniors, and all communities at risk, and increases the rising costs of climate change for our states. This decision upends decades of cooperative state and federal action to protect our residents. We are prepared to go to court to put the brakes on this reckless and illegal plan.”
When a review of the rule was first announced in March, 2017, former EPA chief Scott Pruitt said, “These standards are costly for automakers and the American people,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic. This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment.”