Republican state sues EPA over California standards

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Last week, a group of Republican attorneys general decided to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to restore waivers that allow California to set its own emissions limits and mandate zero-emission vehicles that exceed federal standards.

The agency approved the waiver after it was repealed as part of the Trump administration’s fuel cuts, arguing that it would force automakers to build vehicles for the California market, hurting a product that might be appreciated in other countries, creating a sting in the industry. Split. region of the country. Joe Biden’s EPA, however, takes a different view and aligns with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to give the state more leeway in emissions control.

In fact, Biden issued an executive order in January 2021 ordering the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and EPA to reconsider the Trump administration’s 2019 decision to revoke California’s ability to self-regulate.

The AG coalition, which is reportedly led by Ohio’s Dave Yost, has claimed in court that the Clean Air Act immunity violates the Constitution’s principle of equal sovereignty. From Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina Jost was joined by state, Texas, Utah and West Virginia officials who joined the federal lawsuit.

That’s all fair though, considering that these shows have become a never-ending saga of partisan squabbles, big state (often California) lobbying, and ongoing lawsuits funded by American taxpayers. As the Trump administration tries to negotiate revised fuel economy standards, hearings have shown officials and lawmakers furious, sometimes refusing to sit near members of the opposition. Despite some compromises, continuing to allow California to make its own rules is not one of them. Trump’s EPA even listed the Golden State as having the worst air quality in the coalition, noting that it cannot “perform its most basic mission under the Clean Air Act.”

Meanwhile, California has encouraged other Democratic-controlled states and some multinational automakers to commit to complying with its emissions laws rather than federally promulgated standards. Several of those states later joined forces to sue the Trump administration in 2020, arguing that all the fuel cuts were illegal and based on misinformation. Although that ultimately didn’t matter, as the Biden administration immediately pledged to undo any changes made by the former White House. This includes reinstating the California waiver originally issued by the Obama administration in 2013, and reforming the leadership of the EPA and DOT.

The shoe is now the other foot, and Republicans are trying to sue the EPA for special treatment in California. IHS Markit The lawsuit was filed on May 13 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the report said.

The AG said the immunity actually violated the Constitution, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the constitution created a federal framework in which all states are equal and no state is more equal than the others .

“The Trump administration has understood this and has barred California from setting its own standards of oppression,” said Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt. “The Biden administration has since repealed Trump’s order and made a case for the state of California. The green light to establish ‘green’ manufacturing standards is literally crushing ordinary Americans who are already facing astronomical prices. Because Biden’s policies fail the administration.”

The problem is definitely bigger than a car. Republicans are suing the EPA over how they want to regulate emissions from manufacturing and energy production. The Supreme Court is even considering where the agency’s power over coal-fired power plants should end. But the general trend is that emissions regulations are getting stricter, no matter who occupies the White House or what letters your governor’s name is added to. Leaders in 17 states have opted to follow California’s plan — including a ban on internal-combustion vehicles by 2035 — while leaders in other states are subject to tougher exhaust regulations under Biden’s EPA.

There is no easy answer to this. Automakers are widely divided on the issue, with a clear conflict between what constitutes state power and allowing one region’s influence to override others. Frankly, California’s authoritarian environmental policies don’t seem so realistic or successful. Expanding them to the rest of the country would probably be unwise, which would undoubtedly change the type of vehicles that will be produced. But one should probably have serious reservations about limiting the ability of local agencies to govern themselves. Sadly, this inefficient circus run by hard-line and controversial backers could well decide the fate of the industry, and possibly even your next car purchase.

[Image: Siripatv/Shutterstock]

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