A group of state attorneys general told President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday to expect a “vigorous” legal fight if he rolls back vehicle emissions standards set by his predecessor.
The issue dates to January, when former President Barack Obama’s administration decided to finalize vehicle emissions standards instead of delaying the rollout, as automakers had hoped. The standards called for a 54 mpg fuel efficiency rate for new light-duty vehicles by 2025. Automakers then took their pitch to Trump, whose administration announced back in March that it plans to revisit the standards.
So 13 state attorneys general and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection formed a coalition and announced it will vigorously fight any effort by Trump to rollback the standards.
“Reducing pollution from cars and trucks is vital to New Yorkers’ and all Americans’ health and environment, as we protect the clean air we’ve worked so hard to achieve and fight climate change,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who’s leading the coalition, said in a statement.
Schneiderman’s office said the standards would save consumers about $1,650 over the lifetime of a new vehicle and provide a net benefit of $100 billion in total.
In a letter laying out why it disagreed with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s assessment that Obama’s decision was based on a flawed analysis the attorneys general said the former administration standards were lawful and “fully supported” by a robust analysis.
“And in light of the critical public health and environmental benefits the standards will deliver,” they wrote, “if EPA acts to weaken or delay the current standards for model years 2022-25, like California, we intend to vigorously pursue appropriate legal remedies to block such action.”