In 1970, when the Environmental Protection Agency was signed into being by then-President Richard Nixon, it actually was needed. Thanks to decades of unchecked dumping of industrial waste and more, the nation’s rivers were a mess, and air quality was decidedly unhealthy.
In the succeeding two decades, great strides were made in cleaning up the mess left from the industrial revolution and getting emissions reduced for the comfort, safety, and health of everyone.
The problem we face next to fifty years later is that the EPA has not stopped tightening restrictions on some areas, and this is causing some states to object to the way things are being done.
On Friday, with California in the lead, twenty-three states joined together to sue the Trump Administration’s EPA which seeks to take the lead in setting fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. The states want to maintain control within their own areas.
California and 22 other states sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, asking a federal court to block the Trump administration from stripping the nation’s most populous state of its long-standing authority to set its own fuel-efficiency standards on cars and trucks.
“We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: California will not back down when it comes to protecting our people and our environment from preventable pollution,” the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said in a statement announcing the action. “No matter how many times the Trump administration attempts to sabotage our environmental progress, we will fight for clean air.”
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, marks the latest round in an escalating fight between the White House and California officials over how quickly the nation’s auto fleet must increase its fuel-efficiency. Already, the feud has led to several legal skirmishes, a divided automotive industry and uncertainty in the nation’s car market….
While it is doubtful that the Trump Administration is advocating non-clean air, it is plainly obvious that the states do not consider this president and his people capable of determining that California’s accelerated pace for emissions elimination strains the auto industry’s ability to meet their demands.
The administration’s move was a high-profile example in a broad campaign to undermine Obama-era policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change.
“The Trump administration is on very weak footing in its attempt to revoke the waiver,” said Richard L. Revesz, an environmental and regulatory law expert at New York University’s law school. He added that the “action is unprecedented” and that the Clean Air Act “does not contemplate the possibility that the federal government would revoke a waiver that had already been granted.”
Asked about the lawsuit Friday, EPA spokeswoman Molly Block said the agency does not comment on pending litigation. But she said the administration had the right to push ahead with its revised mileage standards and make “it clear that federal law preempts state and local tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards” as well as those for zero-emission vehicles.
“This action will help ensure that there will be one, and only one, set of national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles,” Block added.
This will also keep the price of American automobiles lower as the makers will not have to meet multiple sets of standards across the country.