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NV attorney general joins coalition to sue Trump administration for clean car rules rollback

Posted at 12:01 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 15:01:57-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNVO — Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and a multistate coalition of states, cities and counties filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s final rule rolling back the national Clean Car Standards.

The previous standards required improvements in fuel economy and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks. The Trump administration’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) rule stops stops the regulations.

In the lawsuit, the coalition will argue that the final rule unlawfully violates the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.


“Since their introduction in 2010, the Clean Car Standards have saved consumers money, reduced harmful emissions, and helped protect the health of our communities,” said AG Ford.

“The Trump Administration’s dangerous and misguided decision to roll back these federal standards threatens to reverse the progress we’ve made in the fight against climate change. My office won’t stand for it,” he said.

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the California Air Resources Board, and car manufacturers established a national program of greenhouse gas emission standards and fuel efficiency standards.

Two years later, the agencies extended the national program to model years 2017-2025 vehicles.

As part of the program, California and the federal agencies agreed to undertake a midterm evaluation to determine if the greenhouse gas emission standards for model years 2022-2025 vehicles should be maintained or revised.

In January 2017, the EPA completed the midterm evaluation and issued a final determination affirming that the existing standards were appropriate and would not be changed.

On March 31, the Trump administration announced its final rule rolling back the Clean Car Standards.

The rule takes aim at the corporate average fuel efficiency standards, requiring automakers to make only minimal improvements to fuel economy— on the order of 1.5 percent annually instead of the previously anticipated annual increase of approximately 5 percent. The rule also guts the requirements to reduce vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions.

In the lawsuit, the coalition will argue that the rollback of the national Clean Cars Standards is unlawful because, among other things:

  • The EPA and NHTSA’s rollbacks violate the statutory text and congressional mandates they are bound by; and
  • 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.

In addition to AG Ford, other states participating in this lawsuit include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

The California Air Resources Board, the Cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Denver, and the Counties of San Francisco and Denver also joined the coalition in filing the lawsuit.