The attorneys general of New York and Connecticut have joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general in a lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration following its revocation of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and zero-emission vehicle standards.
The California standards were authorized in 2013 by a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency and were adopted by 13 states, including New York and Connecticut. The lawsuit charged that the highway agency acted illegally by claiming the California standards were preempted under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, noting that multiple court rulings rejected that argument.
“There is no legal rhyme or reason for the Trump administration to revoke states’ right to set their own standards,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said. “Cars and trucks are the largest source of climate change pollution and the Trump administration’s attempt to rob New York and other states of their authority to adopt standards to stanch this pollution – and defend their residents against the increasing ravages of climate change – is an affront to states’ rights and will only hurt our environment. My office will use every legal tool in our arsenal to protect the wellbeing of New Yorkers and all Americans.”
“The more stringent California emissions standards are incorporated into Connecticut law,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said. “This is a blatant assault on California’s, and by extension Connecticut’s, right to control vehicle emissions that contribute to climate change and the air we breathe. The decision today is another step in this administration’s goal to dismantle environmental protections. Automakers themselves oppose this reckless and needless overreach because they know low and zero emissions vehicles are critical to our future. The Trump Administration has zero authority or basis to pull the waiver.”
James and Tong are joined in the lawsuit by their counterparts from 21 states and the District of Columbia, along with Los Angeles and New York City.