It didn’t take long for California to make good on its promise to the Trump administration if it revoked its ability to set its own automotive emissions standards.
“Mr. President, we’ll see you in court,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
California was joined Friday by 22 other states plus the District of Columbia, Los Angeles and New York City seeking a court order in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. to block the move instituted Thursday by the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The U.S. DOT nor the White House offered comment on the legal challenge. In revoking California’s authority, the department said federal law preempts state and local regulation of vehicle fuel economy, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle emissions rules that are followed by about a dozen other states.
The states suing include New York, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Becerra claims the DOT’s decision was unlawful, and the Trump administration misread federal law, ignoring the intent of Congress, Reuters reported.
“The administration insists on attacking the authority of California and other states to tackle air pollution and protect public health,” Becerra said.
The challenge filed today doesn’t deal with a similar decision by the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent move to revoke a 2013 waiver California received under the Clean Air Act to set emissions standards. That does not take effect until late November.
California has been steadfast in its belief that the president cannot revoke its authority to set its own standards. Trump has been making noise about doing just this sort of thing for some time now, even as the two sides attempted to negotiate a truce.
However, after it became clear that would not happen and the Trump administration would roll back Obama administration mandates for emissions and fuel economy, California made a deal with four automakers – BMW, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen – to voluntarily adhere to tougher requirements than was Trump proposed, but less arduous than those of the Obama administration.
As is his wont, Trump took to Twitter to criticize the automakers who agreed to the deal and reconfirmed his intention to revoke California’s ability to set its own standards. California was joined by Colorado just a week later and four more automakers, General Motors, Hyundai, Toyota and Volkswagen, with a similar deal.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday weighed in on the mileage issue with a series of tweets including one in which he declared that the revised rules would make vehicles “substantially SAFER,” while also “meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”