Oregon, Washington Suing EPA Over Vehicle Emission Standards

California leads multistate coalition in challenge to EPA's planned rollback of auto emissions rules

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States suing the EPA include California, Minnesota, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

The rules were set six years ago when California and the Obama administration agreed to a single nationwide fuel economy standard. The standards save drivers money at the pump, reduce oil consumption, and curb greenhouse gases. When combined with previous standards, the move almost doubled the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles now on our roads.

In August 2012, the Obama Administration finalized standards to increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. Auto companies have tried and failed to block California's standards in court.

The Obama-era agreement, passed in 2011, requires that all cars have an efficiency of about 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

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Jerry Brown and state Atty.

"Virginia is already feeling the effects of climate change, especially in our coastal areas, and can not afford a further delay of action to address this urgent threat to our economic and environmental well-being", said Attorney General Herring.

"Those standards are important to Vermonters because they address climate change impacts in Vermont as well as air quality impacts", Persampieri said. Pruitt argued that the rules were too stringent and could greatly increase vehicle costs for consumers.Brown and other California officials on Tuesday called Pruitt's decision arbitrary and therefore illegal, saying the administrator was trying to change a regulation without supporting evidence. Persampieri said his office will be watching for that proposal.

EPA representatives did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the lawsuit. Fortunately, so do 16 other states.

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The states argue the EPA did not give evidence to support its decision to weaken the rule and they are now asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review its decision.

The states' lawsuit holds that the EPA's move is unlawful, both because it run contrary to the EPA's own thoroughly-vetted regulations, and because it violates the Clean Air Act. As such, carmakers routinely ensure new vehicles are manufactured according to the more demanding Californian state vehicle emissions standards.

In early April, Pruitt said that it is in the country's best interest to have a national standard, saying that one state should not be able to dictate the standards for the whole country. The Administration offered no evidence to support this decision or its forthcoming rulemaking created to weaken the existing 2022-2025 standards.

The administration appeared to be readying a challenge to California's authority to set standards in a draft of new regulations reported by the New York Times last week.

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