Coalition Promises ‘Vigorous’ Legal Action to Maintain Vehicle Emissions Standards
by Lauren Tyler (NGT News) Leading a coalition of 13 attorneys general and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has given notice to the Trump administration that any effort to roll back key vehicle emission standards would be met by a “vigorous” court challenge.
In a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, the coalition makes it clear that it will take legal action if the EPA attempts to weaken air pollution standards set for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022 to 2025.
In 2012, through a years-long cooperative process that included the principal U.S. automotive regulators – the EPA, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) – the auto industry, itself, other stakeholders, and the EPA adopted increasingly stringent standards for greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks for the 2017-25 model years.
The EPA also agreed to complete a midterm evaluation to confirm achievability of the more stringent standards for model years 2022-25. The 2022-25 standards alone would dramatically cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 540 million metric tons, as well as improve vehicles’ fuel economy – resulting in net benefits of nearly $100 billion total, including a net savings of $1,650 for each consumer over the lifetime of a new vehicle.
The EPA completed its midterm evaluation in January.
After extensive public notice and comment, the EPA then concluded that the current emission standards are feasible at reasonable cost, will achieve significant carbon-dioxide emissions reductions, and will provide significant economic and environmental benefits to consumers and issued its final decision to keep these standards in place.
Nonetheless, in March, the Trump administration announced that it would “revisit” the EPA’s midterm evaluation decision.
Excerpt from Politico’s Morning Energy: LAWMAKERS TO PRUITT: KEEP WAIVER ABILITY INTACT: More than 75 House members urged Pruitt in a Friday letter to keep intact the ability for states like California and others to set tougher vehicle emissions standards than federal ones. “If the administration is unwilling to support stronger fuel efficiency and emissions standards, it is more important than ever that states be allowed to continue driving innovation, consumer choice and environmental and public health improvements through strong state standards,” they wrote. Pruitt told House Appropriators last week California’s current waiver is ” not under review.” Republicans Carlos Curbelo and Mike Coffman joined dozens of Democrats in signing the letter. READ MORE