Mass. Joins Lawsuit Against Trump Admin. Over Auto Standards

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – On Wednesday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined a coalition of 30 states, cities, and counties in suing the Trump Administration over "its illegal, environmentally destructive, and costly final rule rolling back federal limits on tailpipe pollution from cars and trucks."

According to a press release from Healey's office, the suit charges two federal agencies for violating the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act, in order to justify the rollback on auto standards.

The California-led lawsuit says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) "improperly and unlawfully relied on analysis riddled with fundamental errors, omissions, and unfounded assumptions in an attempt to justify and rush through the rollback."

“In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic when protecting public health should be our country’s focus, the Trump Administration is taking steps to degrade air quality, exacerbate serious public health risks, and worsen the climate crisis,” AG Healey said. “We are suing to fight against the lobbyists who wrote this rule for the fossil fuel industry, and to stand up for federal law, science, our residents, our economy, and the right to breathe clean air.”

Healey's office reports that in Massachusetts, the transportation sector is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Massachusetts is also one of 12 states that have adopted California’s stricter standards for greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.

In October 2018, Healey joined 20 other attorneys general and five cities in demanding the Trump Administration withdraw its illegal proposal to to dismantle the unified national auto emissions standards initially established in 2010 by the EPA, NHTSA, and the California Air Resources Board

The 2018 suit argued that the Trump Administration "disregarded warnings from the scientific community that weakening tailpipe standards will aggressively accelerate global warming and lead to temperature increases, ocean warming, sea level rise, increased hospitalizations, and more extreme weather events."

The Trump Administration finalized its rollback of the car standards on April 30, 2020. Healey's office said the final rule requires 1.5 percent annual improvement in fuel efficiency, which is significantly below the 5 percent annual improvement previously required under the national program.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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