Executive Briefings

States Tell EPA They'll Fight Should U.S. Relax Vehicle Emissions Rules

More than a dozen state attorneys general wrote to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency vowing a legal fight to block regulators from easing vehicle-emissions standards, the latest broadside in a battle over the Trump administration's move to reopen a review of the regulations.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and 12 other attorneys general sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last week, threatening to take the agency to court should U.S. officials relax the standards when the regulatory review concludes, according to a person familiar with the matter and a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Schneiderman's office on Friday confirmed the Journal's report, disclosing the coalition of attorneys general wrote to Pruitt and releasing the letter publicly.

The state officials were writing in response to a letter Pruitt sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown in May asserting that the Obama administration's review of the emissions standards was flawed and circumvented a process that wasn’t expected to be concluded until April 2018.

The EPA, about a week before President Donald Trump's inauguration in January, closed the so-called midterm review and locked in standards requiring car companies to sell vehicles averaging 54.5 miles a gallon, or 40 mpg in real-world driving, by 2025. The emissions targets, often expressed in terms of mileage, start climbing significantly in 2022.

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and 12 other attorneys general sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last week, threatening to take the agency to court should U.S. officials relax the standards when the regulatory review concludes, according to a person familiar with the matter and a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Schneiderman's office on Friday confirmed the Journal's report, disclosing the coalition of attorneys general wrote to Pruitt and releasing the letter publicly.

The state officials were writing in response to a letter Pruitt sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown in May asserting that the Obama administration's review of the emissions standards was flawed and circumvented a process that wasn’t expected to be concluded until April 2018.

The EPA, about a week before President Donald Trump's inauguration in January, closed the so-called midterm review and locked in standards requiring car companies to sell vehicles averaging 54.5 miles a gallon, or 40 mpg in real-world driving, by 2025. The emissions targets, often expressed in terms of mileage, start climbing significantly in 2022.

Read Full Article