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California Threatens to Sue EPA Over Weakened Vehicle Efficiency Standards

California's Attorney General said that he is ready and able to fight the EPA if they go through with plans to roll back Obama-era environmental policies.

Posted: Mar 28, 2018 11:12 AM
Updated: Mar 28, 2018 11:19 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A fight over vehicle efficiency standards may lead to a crisis over state and federal rights, as well as the wishes of corporations, according to reporting from Reuters.

In response to plans from the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back vehicle efficiency requirements across the country, California's attorney general has threatened to sue in order to keep those policies.

“We are going to do everything that can been done to defend these standards,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to Reuters. “So far, when we have been challenged on environmental standards we have had a good record in court. We haven’t lost a case.”

Becerra is responding to reports that the EPA will announce by April 1 that current rules intended to double average fleet-wide fuel efficiency to 50 miles per-gallon are "not appropriate."

The current regulations came from the Obama administration, who reportedly earned the blessing of auto manufacturers. Nevertheless, the same automakers are concerned that California's split with the Trump EPA could lead to different states setting their own standards, creating a wide variety of restrictions across the country.

California is the most highly-populated U.S. state and a large market for automakers—and where they go, many states will follow.

The Obama-era policies on vehicle efficiency sprung from a 2011 agreement between California's air emissions regulator, the EPA, and major automakers. They agreed to strive for doubling fuel efficiency by 2025, with a provision to conduct a "midterm review" by April 2018 to determine whether the goal was possible.

"California doesn't have the authority to set the standards for the rest of the country," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to Reuters in January. EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman has confirmed that the Obama-era policies are currently under interagency review, and a recommendation will be made by April 1.

Becerra has said that he is confident courts will side with California if the EPA attempts to weaken federal standards, or tries to remove the state's authority under the Clean Air Act to set its own, independent standards.

"We are not yet at round one, and we think we have some good knockout punches for the next rounds," Becerra said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34800568
Washington23412229
Marion20116299
Clackamas15311204
Lane11554144
Jackson9904127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes708272
Linn414263
Yamhill408775
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Polk342952
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Lake4137
Grant4064
Harney3056
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Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3716579

Reported Deaths: 60994
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122864123628
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2945774550
San Diego2748113674
Orange2688694891
Santa Clara1169712013
Kern1078251322
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1005001643
Alameda852561477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66927782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383830
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41107560
San Francisco35993517
Santa Barbara33863446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29679311
Imperial27962719
Kings22766245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16250239
Santa Cruz15554204
Marin13860226
Yolo13559199
Shasta11677217
Butte11549196
El Dorado9719109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598263
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362151
Humboldt358737
Lake340643
Glenn235525
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
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Alpine880
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