Calif. to fight Trump's 'politically motivated' vehicle standards plan

Calling Standards 'Too High,' EPA Moves to Relax Car Pollution Rules

"Cooperative federalism doesn't mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country", Pruitt said, adding that the agency was still deciding what to do about California.

The EPA's determination, they suggest, may lead to a protracted battle between blue states and the administration that leaves carmakers without a clear set of rules.

EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittChristie on Pruitt controversy: "I don't know how you survive this one" Doug Jones: People are "frustrated" with Cabinet members and Pruitt "is in real trouble" Dem lawmaker urges Trump to fire Pruitt MORE said Monday that he is still deciding whether to preserve California's authority to set its own rules or to revoke the waiver. The Alliance to Save Energy is a bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental, and consumer groups that works to expand the economy while reducing energy consumption. The Obama EPA estimated that the rule would save 1.2 billion barrels of oil and save consumers a net $100 billion.

NRDC: "Backing off now is irresponsible and unwarranted".

The standards called for roughly doubling by 2025 the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles sold in the United States to about 50 miles (80 km) per gallon.

In response to the EPA announcement, Gov.

Pruitt did not specify what limits would be put in place, saying the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would establish a national standard that "allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford - while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars".

Gloria Bergquist, a vice president for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a statement, "This was the right decision and we support the administration for pursuing a data-driven effort and a single national program as it works to finalize future standards".

More news: Dry in Denver to start; rain and snow return Wednesday PM

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing 70 percent of US vehicle and light truck sales that had encouraged the administration to roll back standards, expectedly approved of the announcement, arguing that "this was the right decision".

If the nation ends up with two emissions standards, the automakers could live with it, but not enthusiastically, she said.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, cast the decision as misguided - trending against consumer preferences, not in line with them. "Rolling back standards will curb the sale of vehicles", said Jack Gillis, director of public affairs at the Consumer Federation of America. "Designing and building cleaner, more cost-efficient cars is what helped automakers bounce back from the depths of the recession and will be key to America's global competitiveness in the years ahead". The agency said it is still examining California's waiver. The state has its own vehicle and truck efficiency standards aligned with the Obama-era targets, made through an agreement reached in 2011 with the support of almost all major automakers.

California's attorney general said in a statement that his office is reviewing the EPA decision and is ready to take legal action.

In 2011, the State of California locked in its own pollution and gas mileage standards and managed to reach an agreement to enforce the rules with a host of major vehicle manufacturers.

California officials have already threatened to sue the Trump administration on this issue. Revoking it would nearly certainly provoke a lengthy legal battle.

The states resisting account for more than a third of all vehicle sales, making it hard - if not impossible - for automakers to take advantage of looser rules if those states don't go along.

Calling the EPA's planned rollback a way of "cooking the books on its review of national auto mission standards", Schneiderman vowed to take action against the EPA if necessary.

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