September 27, 2019
CHICAGO – The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) along with a coalition of NGOs today filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s final rule which attempts to remove California’s authority to set environmental standards for vehicles. NHTSA’s rule states that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which requires NHTSA to set vehicle fuel efficiency standards, preempts California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and zero-emissions vehicle mandates that are stronger than federal standards. Because NHTSA and U.S. EPA also propose to weaken the federal vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency standards, it’s important to protect California’s ability to set stricter standards, which the Clean Air Act then allows other states to adopt.
Today’s action follows a lawsuit filed last Friday by a coalition of states and cities to oppose the Trump administration’s actions. That coalition includes Illinois and Minnesota.
Statement by Howard A. Learner, Executive Director ELPC
“The Trump administration’s attempt to revoke states’ authority to enact strong clean car standards is unsupported by law and a huge step backward as a matter of policy. That is why the Environmental Law & Policy Center is joining a coalition to challenge the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s final rule,” said Howard Learner, ELPC’s Executive Director. “Climate change harms the Great Lakes and people in our region. ELPC is challenging the federal government’s misguided and wrongful action that prevents states in the Midwest and elsewhere from taking the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.”