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California, 22 states take US EPA/NHTSA to court over vehicle CO2 emissions rollback

27 May 2020

Today, California, 22 other states and several other jurisdictions challenged the Trump Administration’s rollback of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and GHG emission standards for model year 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) helped develop the original 2012 rules and is represented in this case by the California Attorney General.

The new, revised standards finalized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reduce the annual emission reductions from nearly 5% a year to 1.5% a year. The California’s suit claims the EPA and NHTSA have violated the laws and bypassed congressional requirements in enacting these rollbacks, and that the federal agencies used a faulty and flawed analysis, unfounded assumptions, and made statistical errors to manipulate data in support of their conclusions.

“The 2017 decision to maintain the previous vehicle greenhouse gas regulations was the result of several years of in-depth, joint analysis by US EPA, NHTSA and California,” said CARB. “Transportation is 40 percent of GHG emissions in California, and the previous emissions standards are critical in our effort to combat climate change, as well as to assist in further development and growth of California’s sustainable economy.”

The Petition for Review filed today seeks to restore the original, Obama era CAFE/GHG rule adopted in 2012. The Petition also seeks to review the EPA Mid-Term Evaluation of GHG emission standards completed in 2018, which determined that the 2012 standards were too stringent and should be revised.

Source: CARB