23 states sue as Trump tar­gets Calif.’s auto-emis­sions au­thor­ity

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD - By Adam Beam

SACRA­MENTO, Calif. — Cal­i­for­nia and 22 other states sued Fri­day to stop the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion from re­vok­ing the au­thor­ity of the na­tion’s most pop­u­lous state to set auto emis­sion stan­dards.

Cal­i­for­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra sued the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion a day af­ter it is­sued a reg­u­la­tion de­signed to pre-empt the state’s au­thor­ity to set its own rules for how much pol­lu­tion can come from cars and trucks.

Be­cerra, a Demo­crat, said two other courts have al­ready up­held Cal­i­for­nia’s emis­sion stan­dards.

“Pres­i­dent Trump should have at least read the in­struc­tion man­ual he in­her­ited when he as­sumed the pres­i­dency, in par­tic­u­lar the chap­ter on re­spect­ing the rule of law,” Be­cerra said.

Fed­eral law sets stan­dards for how much pol­lu­tion can come from cars and trucks. But since the 1970s, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has given Cal­i­for­nia per­mis­sion to set its own rules be­cause it has the most cars on the road of any state and strug­gles to meet air qual­ity stan­dards.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion does not just af­fect Cal­i­for­nia. Thir­teen other states, plus the Dis­trict of Columbia, have adopted Cal­i­for­nia’s emis­sion rules for cars and trucks.

Join­ing Cal­i­for­nia in the law­suit are at­tor­neys gen­eral from Colorado, Con­necti­cut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illi­nois, Maine, Mas­sachusetts, Mary­land, Michi­gan, Min­nesota, Ne­vada, New Jer­sey, New Mex­ico, New York, North Carolina, Ore­gon, Penn­syl­va­nia, Rhode Is­land, Ver­mont, Vir­ginia, Wash­ing­ton, Wis­con­sin and the Dis­trict of Columbia.

The cities of New York and Los An­ge­les also joined the law­suit.

The law­suit marks the lat­est bat­tle be­tween the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and Cal­i­for­nia, whose Demo­cratic lead­ers have prided them­selves on head­ing a re­sis­tance to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his poli­cies, par­tic­u­larly those re­lated to the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We will not let po­lit­i­cal agen­das in a sin­gle state be forced upon the other 49,” Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary Elaine Chao said Thurs­day in Wash­ing­ton.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has been work­ing on set­ting new auto emis­sion rules. But in July, Ford, BMW, Honda and Volk­swa­gen an­nounced they would vol­un­tar­ily fol­low Cal­i­for­nia’s rules, by­pass­ing the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The De­part­ment of Jus­tice then launched an an­titrust in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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