California and Other States Suing EPA over Rollback of Fuel Efficiency Standards

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the agency’s rollback of the “clean car rules” agreed to during the Obama administration. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last month that the agency would revise the fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles, for which the average fleet goal is currently set at 54.5 miles per gallon.
California’s Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra are leading the charge, filing the lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last week. The states argue that EPA did not provide the necessary evidence to warrant the rollback. Automakers, who have relied on a single, consistent standard for vehicle emissions across the country, may be faced with a new situation where one-third of their market will have significantly higher standards than the rest of the country. The result would be different cars assembled for different states.
Currently, California has a waiver under Clean Air Act to set its own air quality standards, which Pruitt has stated his office is “re-examining.”