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L.A. City Attorney Joins Lawsuit to Stop EPA Changes to Cleaner Fuel Standards

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced Los Angeles has joined a coalition of cities and states in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's final rule on rolling back the national Clean Car Standards.

“We in Los Angeles must push back against the Trump administration's anti-science, anti-consumer assault on our environment,” Feuer said. “As we've seen during the pandemic, it's absolutely essential to pay close attention to our scientific experts. Here, they're telling us that unless we put the brakes on the administration's action, it will needlessly cause more pollution, require drivers to pump more costly gas and harm our environment at the very moment we need to protect it.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary Nichols, and California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Jared Blumenfeld
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary Nichols, and California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Jared Blumenfeld host a press conference to respond to news that the Trump Administration would revoke California’s waiver to set greenhouse gas emission and ZEV standards. Sept. 18, 2019. |  CA Attorney General

According to Feuer, the previous standards required improvements to the fuel economy and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks. Since the standards were introduced in 2010, gas consumers have saved money, reduced harmful emissions and helped protect public health, he said.

That same year, the EPA, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, California Air Resources Board and car manufacturers agreed to a unified national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy standards, Feuer said.

On March 31, the Trump administration announced its final rule to reduce the Clean Car Standards to allow more carbon emissions from vehicles.

“Now more than ever, this country needs a sensible national program that strikes the right regulatory balance for the environment, the auto industry, the economy, safety and American families,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement in March. “(The rule) does all of those things by improving fuel economy, continuing to reduce air pollution and making new
vehicles more affordable for all Americans.”

Feuer said the rule “guts” the requirements to reduce vehicles' greenhouse gas emissions, allowing hundreds of millions of metric tons of avoidable carbon emissions into our atmosphere over the next decades. In the lawsuit, the coalition will argue that the EPA's rollback of the national Clean Cars Standards is unlawful because, among other things, it violates the statutory text and congressional mandates to which they are bound, Feuer said.

“The EPA and NHTSA improperly and unlawfully relied on an analysis riddled with errors, omissions and unfounded assumptions in an attempt to justify their desired result,'' according to a statement form the City Attorney's Office.

Los Angeles joins the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia in its lawsuit. More information on the coalition's efforts can be found here.

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