A coalition of 23 states sued the Trump administration Wednesday over it’s rollback of a key Obama-era climate measure that required automakers to meet ambitious fuel efficiency standards.
The March rule cuts the year-over-year improvements expected from the auto industry, slashing standards that require automakers to produce fleets that average nearly 55 mpg by 2025. Instead, the Trump rule would bring that number down to about 40 mpg by 2026, bringing mileage below what automakers have said is possible for them to achieve.Attorneys general say the rule conflicts with laws requiring the government to set the maximum possible standard for automakers.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) told reporters the state would take the administration to court “with our three best allies by our side: the facts, the science and the law.” The Trump administration standards are considered particularly vulnerable in court because they cost consumers some $13 billion more than they would save. Internal government documents recently reviewed by The Hill showed the White House questioned the legal justification behind the rule.
The rule also ignored a number of concerns raised by staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which helped write the rule. “This is not the first time the administration has tried to hide documents in important cases,” Becerra said, behavior that helped states win their case against the Trump administration challenging adding a citizenship question to the Census. EPA did not immediately respond to request for comment.