- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Opposes Rollback of Critical Vehicle Emissions Standards
Boston — Attorney General Maura Healey today joined a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its rollback of critical federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks.
“These commonsense limits on tailpipe pollution have done more than any other measure to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions, increase miles per gallon fuel economy and save drivers money on gas,” said AG Healey. “Scott Pruitt has once again illegally handed EPA decision-making over to fossil-fuel lobbyists, while sticking the American people with dirtier air and higher prices at the pump. Since the public can no longer depend on the EPA to protect their interests, we are fighting to defend the standards.”
Globally, the transportation sector is the fastest growing source of dangerous greenhouse gas pollution. Cars and light duty trucks make up 60 percent of the country’s transportation sector and are the main driver for U.S. dependence on oil, including foreign imports. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, the transportation sector has surpassed the electric power sector and is now the nation’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.
Beginning in 2010, the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and California Air Resources Board established a single national program of greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2012-2025 vehicles. This program allows automakers to design and manufacture for a single national program in all states.
The federal standards the states are suing to protect, for model year 2022-2025 vehicles, are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons, the equivalent of removing 422 million cars from the road, and to save drivers $1,650 per vehicle.
In January 2017, EPA determined, in its “midterm evaluation,” that the 2022-25 standards are readily achievable by the auto industry. After an extensive technical review, based in significant part on information from industry, advocates, and other interested parties, EPA found that “automakers are well positioned to meet the standards at lower costs than previous estimated.”
However, last month the EPA arbitrarily reversed course and claimed that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 vehicles should be scrapped. The Administration offered no evidence to support this decision and deferred any analysis to a forthcoming rulemaking designed to try to weaken the existing 2022-2025 standards.
Filed today in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the lawsuit is based on the fact that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously, failed to follow its own Clean Car regulations, and violated the Clean Air Act.
Joining AG Healey in filing today’s lawsuit were the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania (also filed by and through its Department of Environmental Protection), Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Minnesota filed by and through its Pollution Control Agency and Department of Transportation. This coalition represents approximately 44 percent of the U.S. population and 43 percent of the new car sales market nationally.