California has followed through on its threat to sue the Trump Administration over its decision to withdraw proposed fuel economy standards.
According to a press release from California Governor Edmund Brown Jr, the state is “moving to curb toxic air pollution and improve car gas mileage” by suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an attempt to keep the proposed standards in place. California isn’t alone in this endeavor as it is being joined by 16 other states.
In a statement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “The states joining today’s lawsuit represent 140 million people who simply want cleaner and more efficient cars.” He went on to say “The evidence is irrefutable: today’s clean car standards are achievable, science-based and a boon for hardworking American families.” The attorney general then criticized the EPA and, its administrator, Scott Pruitt for refusing to do their job.
California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols echoed that sentiment by saying the standards “were based on the best judgment of engineers” and they’re already being achieved years ahead of schedule. She then attacked Pruitt by saying his decision was “based on no new information or facts.”
The lawsuit was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and claims the EPA acted “arbitrarily and capriciously,” violated the Clean Air Act and failed to follow its own rules and regulations. The lawsuit goes on to say the government hasn’t shown any evidence to support its decision to weaken fuel economy standards.
California says keeping the standards in place is critical as the reduction in carbon pollution would be the equivalent of taking 134 coal power plants offline. The state also says drivers would save $1,650 per vehicle.
Besides California, the other states involved in the lawsuit include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
18 different automakers have pushed the government to relax fuel economy standards as they have claimed that a million jobs could be at risk if the standards are implemented. The EPA granted their request as Pruitt has previously said “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality and set the standards too high.”