Led by California, seventeen U.S. states have announced a lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to revise vehicle emissions and fuel standards set by the Obama administration.
Adopted in 2012, these standards are a key part of an overall plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation is now the biggest cause of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., surpassing power.
Because of this, having a plan to increase innovation and decrease emissions is essential to the protection of the environment. This drove the Obama-led initiative, which set a plan for automakers by 2024 to reach an average fleet fuel economy of 54.5miles per gallon.
Due to the longevity of the program and the uncertainty of its impact, it was decided that there would be an evaluation of its progress and feasibility before April 2018.
This evaluation was conducted in January 2017, and the EPA established that the program was well underway and feasible.
However, on April 13th 2018, the EPA decided that the clean car standard were not appropriate and needed to be revised. Industry experts have criticized this action for its lack of evidence compared with the 2017 evaluation.
In response, 17 states have filed a lawsuit for the EPA acting arbitrarily in rolling back these vehicle standards in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit. The states, following California’s example, demonstrate an interest in working towards better environmental standards.
Representing approximately 140 million individuals and 43 per cent of the automobile market, there are 17 states joining together to sue the EPA.
The states involved are California, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Iowa, Maine, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey.