Nov 15, 2019

California, other states sue EPA for right to set higher emissions standards

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

Twenty-three states joined California in suing the Environmental Protection Agency for stripping away an Obama-era waiver that allows the state to set strict emissions standards on cars and trucks, the California's attorney general's office announced Friday.

The big picture: This is the latest in a high-stakes battle between California and the Trump administration over the fuel-efficiency of cars in America, says Axios' Amy Harder. Automakers — and drivers — are caught in the middle and likely stuck with significant uncertainty for years as these legal and regulatory fights wear on.

  • One of the standards at the center of the latest lawsuit requires the sale of an increasing number of electric or other zero-emission vehicles.
  • Another addresses standards for tailpipe emissions. California has stricter qualifications than the EPA requires nationally.

Between the lines, via Axios Amy Harder: If you're losing track of all the lawsuits, you're probably not alone. This lawsuit is separate from another suit filed in September, also by California and a similar set of states,

  • That suit was filed against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration"to undo a parallel determination that federal law bars California from setting tailpipe emission standards," Reuters writes.

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The climate war over cars intensifies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The high-stakes fight over vehicle emissions and mileage rules is getting more intense and drawing in new combatants.

Driving the news, part 1: California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state government would only buy cars for their fleets from automakers that reached a deal with the state on increasing emissions standards.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

California won't buy from automakers who side with Trump on emissions

Traffic backs up at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll plaza along Interstate 80 in July. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California confirmed Monday that it won't buy new government vehicles from automakers who backed President Trump in his carbon emissions war with the state, the New York Times reports. GM, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota are among those set to be affected by the move.

Driving the news: The three big automakers and others announced in October that they were joining the Trump administration's side in litigation over its move to stop California from imposing emissions rules and, by proxy, mileage requirements that are tougher than federal standards, per Axios' Ben Geman.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

The state of U.S. energy-related carbon emissions

Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. carbon emissions from energy rose by 2.7% last year, ending several years of declines, federal Energy Information Administration data confirms.

Why it matters: While emissions have been in a generally downward trend for well over a decade, the report late last week shows how the U.S. is off track to meet its pledges under the Paris climate deal.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019