California fights back against EPA proposals on vehicles

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Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, vehicle safety, exhaust emissions and costs.

The full EPA/NHTSA proposal and California's response are available online. "The EPA has handed decision making over to the fossil fuel lobbyists. the flat-Earthers, the climate change deniers", said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. On Aug. 2, the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency took action by announcing a joint proposal to update the national automobile fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas standards.

That calculation could change next year depending on the outcome of the November midterm election.

The administration is hoping to have the new rules in place by the end of the year, with the draft proposal now open to a 60 day comment period.

"That makes a big difference", he said. They've argued that the Obama-era standards Trump proposes to sweep aside are outdated, established when the USA was over-reliant on foreign oil, and that they don't reflect huge increases in US exports of crude oil and petroleum products since then. The resolution enables Congress to essentially void an executive branch regulation it deems misguided or unnecessary.

It also dovetails with the Republican president's broader effort to unwind green regulation, much of it enacted by Democratic former President Barack Obama's administration, that he views as onerous to business. That put the EPA into the position of, essentially, regulating fuel economy.

California and 18 other US states said on Thursday they would sue to stop a Trump administration proposal to weaken Obama-era federal fuel efficiency standards, arguing the United States has an obligation to protect the environment for future generations. It's proposing to freeze the standards instead of increasing the restrictions annually as the Obama administration had originally planned.

The administration also wants to revoke the authority of California and other states to set their own, stricter mileage standards — independent of federal ones.

California and 16 other states filed suit over the fuel efficiency standards in May, anticipating the new regulation. In their summary of the notice, the administration argues the proposal will prevent "thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries" because it will not force automakers to use lighter materials to improve efficiency.

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Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups argue the move will harm the environment, however.

It's costly for companies to design and build vehicles for California and states that follow its rules, and a different set for the rest of the country.

The lawsuit was never ruled on - the state dropped it after President Obama took office and negotiated with automakers and California on the very same rules that the Trump administration is now attempting to repeal.

Reducing transportation emissions is a critical component of the state's approach to climate change, a defining policy for California.

"Californians have a right to breathe clean air, and we're not giving that up to President Trump without a fight", Feinstein said. California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced that he would lead 19 attorneys general in a new lawsuit, saying that "California is about progress and 21st century innovation and technology".

"More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public", said Chao.

In hopes of avoiding that end, William Wehrum, the top clean air official at the EPA, said he still would like to find a way to broker a deal with California over the rule before it is finalized, probably this year or early next year.

According to the Sierra Club, the standards put in place under the Obama administration were part of a "grand bargain" among automakers, the NHTSA, the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board, along with buy-in from labor unions and environmental groups. "We want a 50-state solution that does not necessitate preempting California".