Thursday, July 29, 2021
July 29, 2021

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Washington joins lawsuit on rollback of vehicle emissions standards

28 other states, cities part of push to keep Obama-era rules


OLYMPIA — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a legal challenge Wednesday against the Trump administration’s decision to roll back vehicle emissions standards, according to his office.

Filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the lawsuit alleges the emissions rollback violates the federal Clean Air Act and other laws, according to a news statement. Washington joined the lawsuit along with 27 other states and municipalities.

“As climate change grips our world, we should be strengthening emissions standards, not rolling them back,” Ferguson said in the statement. “Despite our current public health crisis, the Trump Administration is going full steam ahead on its anti-environmental agenda. I won’t allow this administration to play politics with the air we breathe.”

The rollback of standards established during President Barack Obama’s administration is part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to reduce regulations.

The new mileage rules require automakers to achieve 1.5 percent annual increases in fuel efficiency. The Obama-era standards called for 5 percent annual increases and were seen as the government’s most forceful initiative against fossil fuel emissions.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday asks the court to review actions by the EPA, the U.S. Department of Transportation Department and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that led to the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles rule issued in March. Environmental groups also filed a similar petition with the court.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.