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California Brings Major Climate Suit Over Car Emissions

By George Khoury, Esq. on May 01, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When it comes to vehicle emissions, the state of California has long been a leader in setting the most stringent standards. But, with the recent change in the administration at the EPA, as well as the efforts of lobbyists maybe, those high California standards are facing a potential upheaval.

Rather than waiting to see what happens, California, 16 other states, and the District of Columbia, have joined together to seek appellate review of the EPA's final agency action in regard to changing the emissions standards for 2022-2025 model year vehicles.

Mission Emissions

One of the bigger points of contention for the states is the new head of the EPA's stance that the Obama era standards were too stringent. These sentiments, curiously, are not shared by some top execs within the auto industry, which has generally been quick to embrace increased fuel efficiency and electric and hybrid vehicles.

The states assert that the rollback of the EPA's standards is unlawful because the decision was arbitrary and capricious. The lawsuit alleges the EPA failed to follow its own regulations and the new standards even violate the Clean Air Act. And depending on the reporting, the auto industry may be the motivating factor.

A California Special

While a third of the states have joined together in this lawsuit, California may have to file a separate lawsuit on its own. This is due to the state's concern that the waiver granted by the federal government for the state to pass its own emissions standards could also be in jeopardy under the current EPA's trajectory.

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