State Attorneys General Vow to Fight Trump Auto Emissions Easing

Letter from 13 state attorneys general refutes administration criticisms of automobile greenhouse gas standards and pledges to ‘vigorously pursue legal remedies to block” attempts to weaken them

Thirteen state attorneys general signed a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “to express our strong disagreement with your contention that EPA’s midterm evaluation process [of the current federal standards for greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks] was legally flawed.

“In light of the critical public health and environmental benefits the standards will deliver, 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.”

In 2009, the principal U.S. automotive regulators – EPA, the California Air Resources Board and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – partnered with the auto industry and other stakeholders to assess how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using readily available and affordable technologies. Cooperation resulted in the 2012 rulemaking, which set increasingly stringent standards for greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks for the 2017-25 model years.

In addition to cutting carbon pollution equal to the annual emissions of 422 million cars currently on the road, the new greenhouse-gas standards limit nitrogen oxide and other smog-forming emissions that trigger asthma attacks. And by improving vehicles fuel economy, the standards will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. 

Attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington and the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection signed the letter.