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18 states sue to put the brakes on Trump’s emission standard reversal

18 states sue to put the brakes on Trump’s emission standard reversal

California’s Jerry Brown joins the lawsuit, shortly after saying: ” The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events.”

A little over a month ago, we reported that the Trump administration was expected to launch an effort to roll back Obama-era fuel emission standards for automobiles.

Now, 18 states have sued the administration over this move, launching a legal battle over one of Obama’s few remaining achievements.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt in April said he would revisit the Obama-era rules, which aim to raise efficiency requirements to about 50 miles per gallon by 2025. Pruitt’s agency said that the standards are “based on outdated information” and that new data suggests “the current standards may be too stringent.”

But in the lawsuit, the states contend that the EPA acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in changing course on the greenhouse gas regulations.

…The lawsuit comes amid a larger struggle over climate policy regarding U.S. cars and light trucks. The Trump administration has drafted a proposal that would freeze the federal standards at 2021 levels, leaving them well below levels targeted under Obama.

California, as part of its War on Trump, is participating in the lawsuit. Governor Jerry Brown’s announcement about the legal case was as classy and reality-based as you would expect.

In stinging comments at the Capitol, Brown said actions of the Trump administration were “so outrageous,” adding “Trump is definitely running a one-man demolition derby on science, the Clean Air Act and a lot of things we are trying to do.”

Brown called Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt “Outlaw Pruitt,” and accused him of “breaking the law.”

“He’s flouting the Clean Air Act and the legitimate needs and well-being of the American people,” the governor said.

To put Brown’s assertions into their proper perspective, I must note that a few short weeks ago Brown indicated that three billion people were going to die because of “heat events”.

“When you pick up the paper or turn on cable news, you’d think it’s another planet. It’s all about the nonsense of Washington, and carbon emissions are growing, and we’ve got to radically turn that around, or the migrations you’re seeing now are going to be child’s play,” Brown told reporters Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to have widespread disruption, more conflicts, more terrorism, more insecurity because of climate disruption. The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events – 3 billion – and 1 billion will be subjected to vector diseases that they’re not now subject to now,” he said. “This is a horror.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Joining California are mainly members of team Blue State: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

However, none of the other governors will offer the sound, sober scientific reasoning shared by Governor Moonbeam. I am truly blessed to be a Californian.


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Jerry Brown : Cars are bad, illegal invaders are good. That just about sums up Jerry Brown.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to walls. | May 7, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Time to perp walk those 18 governors to their maximum security prison cell. Snark!

    Hey Jerry, I remember you before you changed your name from [email protected]!

I said at the time that Barracula’s Unicorn engineering mandates were delusional and would have immense costs, including getting more people killed.

They have.

Trucking interests (often small businesses) are already highly incentivized to get every efficiency from their rolling-stock. Manufacturers are pushing the limits of good engineering out of a profit motive, and that can’t change because some dope in D.C. or Sacramento writes some crap on a piece of paper, motivated by junk science.

    starride in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Having been a Tier one supplier to the companies that make cars and trucks, I know a lot of the designers of these vehicles. I worked with them to develop a lot of the manufacturing processes.

    It is a lot worse than you think. US EPA laws are ass backwards in regard to particulates released into the air. U.S laws are based on the quantity of particulates per gallon of fuel instead of particulates per mile like in Europe. That is why you will never see the 75+ MPG vehicles in the USA like you do overseas.

    To put it in non-engineering terms, American cars and trucks are 2 times dirtier than the vehicles in Europe because of how we rate and measure the ratio of pollution to fuel used instead of pollution to miles traveled. This causes the overall efficiency of the vehicles here to be much lower than our counterparts across the pond.

      Mac45 in reply to starride. | May 6, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Of course the fact that gasoline prices, in Europe, range from $5-$8 a gallon, 2-3 times what they are in the US, have nothing to do with people wanting vehicles with greater fuel efficiency.

      This was one of the main reasons why the Obama Administration wanted to increase US gas prices to the same level. That and the increased tax revenue, of course.

        Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | May 6, 2018 at 12:28 pm

        You missed it again.

        Starride was relating the difference between emissions, not mileage.

        Diesel engines do, inherently, emit more ash, for instance than do gasoline engines. They also enjoy significant mileage per gallon benefits over gasoline engines. That accounts for their popularity in other nations and their universal use in large trucks here…and everywhere.

        I’ll note as an aside that recent changes in U.S. regulations on diesel engines has resulted in even heavy equipment engines being altered such that they have become far less durable and maintenance-free than just a generation (of engines) ago. Caterpillar has trouble-shooters out in the field desperately trying to correct problems in machines that are solely the result regulatory stupidity.

        I’ve noted that the environmental cost of producing more engines is huge. But nobody seems to factor that into their calculus.

          Edward in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm

          I never understood the US aversion to diesel engine cars. In 1985 i bought a new Ford Escort with a 4 cylinder Mazda engine and standard shift. I got a great deal because the dealer just wanted to get rid of a car which was costing him interest payments without much interest from buyers. I routinely got 47 mpg from the car and when I held it to the 55 mph speed limit for the week it took to get to a 1/4 tank remaining refill (about 100 mile per day RT commute), I found I was getting 52.5 mpg. Of course one of the kids totaled the car for us.

          Edward in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 1:35 pm

          On the note about diesel engines, my old truck (F250, 7.3 liter International Diesel) has 36x,xxx miles with only a replacement of the injector pump, the water pump, plus radiator and transmission rebuild. Engine still runs strong.

          Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 2:27 pm

          Actually, there are two major reasons why diesel engines are used in by the trucking industry, today. The first is greater fuel economy than gasoline powered engines. Diesel engines produce a 20-30% increase in fuel efficiency over a comparable gasoline engine. They also produce more low end torque. They do not produce nearly as much high end a a gasoline powered engine. A third reason, one of the original reasons for the spread of diesel powered vehicles in transportation was that diesel fuel was generally 15-20% cheaper than the more highly refined gasoline.

          Now, ethanol use has NOTHING to do with any irrational fear of running out of oil. As the efficiency of gasoline is reduced by ~10% by the inclusion of ethanol, this means that more fuel has to be used to drive a vehicle for a specific distance, result in a similar amount of petroleum usage. The mandatory inclusion of ethanol was simply to provide a boon to farmers. Of course, including ethanol into fuel, raised the cost of all food stuffs which relied upon corn in any way. This increased the cost in all services as it was passed on to the consumer.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 2:52 pm

          Wrong. As usual.

          American truckers don’t buy and use diesel engines out of a sense of nostalgia for cheap diesel prices in the past. What a crock!

          And ethanol is called “alternative fuel” instead of “farmer fuel”. It IS proffered as an alternate to fossil fuel. The ONLY reason for its use offered by BIG GOVERNMENT is the irrational fear of a dearth of fossil fuel.

          Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 6:32 pm

          LOL. I love ya, man.

          Long haul truckers buy diesels engine trucks for two reasons. The first is because there are far more heavy trucks which use diesel engines than there are available with gasoline engines. The second reason is because of the greater low end torque which allows them to pull heavier loads much more efficiently than gasoline engines, resulting in lower operating costs than a gasoline engine vehicle. Diesel engines are also a bit less complicated than gasoline engines. Though once you start adding computer regulated throttles and turbo charging to them, this is mitigated quite a bit.

          Lower fuel prices are one of the reasons why heavy trucks used diesel engines in the past.

          This, of course, has nothing to do with passenger cars and light duty trucks.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 7, 2018 at 8:42 am

          Your idiot is showing some more.

          When you buy a big truck, you specify an engine. That can be one made by several vendors. Peterbilt doesn’t make an engine, and they don’t care what they plunk in your new truck. Mack is (or was last I knew) one of the few truck builders who made their own engines, but you could order a Mack with other engines just fine. Volvo and International were two others, but same story. None of their offerings are gasoline-powered.

          I haven’t even seen a gasoline-powered heavy truck in many years. The last I was aware of were a fleet of dump-truck by Ford, and they were dogs. About a quarter of them were broke down on any given day.

          Computers and turbochargers are wonderfully durable. I’ve never had to replace either in any of the trucks I’ve owned. They’ve made truck engines MUCH more durable, efficient, and powerful. World-wide.

        RMS1911 in reply to Mac45. | May 8, 2018 at 1:06 am

        The fuel tax is on the gallon not the price.
        It’s the same if it’s one dollar a gallon or ten dollars a gallon.

Henry Hawkins | May 6, 2018 at 10:49 am

Every Brown utterance constitutes a fatal lethal heat event.

So there he is driving around in his old car that doesn’t meet any emission standards

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to NGAREADER. | May 6, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Actually, it was a mid to late 60s, or even early-70s MoPar. It already had exhaust controls and, likely, electronic ignition.

First of all, individual states can set their own emission standards for automobiles. California did it for years. What the libs want is to impose THEIR view of reality onto everyone else.

IMHO, Rags is correct in his assessment of what automakers will do. They will engineer their vehicles on the basis of profit. Profit is dependent upon a combination of market desirability and cost. The problem that automakers face is that the market, the customer base, has little desire for vehicles which get extremely high gas mileage and/or extremely low carbon emissions; especially if they cost more or suffer a reduction in size. This is the reason why the number of alternative fuel vehicles on the road is so low. In 2018, only 10 million alternate fuel passenger cars [out of 126 million total cars] were in service in the US. This included all types of alternate fuel vehicles including ethanol flex fuel. Only a little over 5 million electric cars, including total electrics and hybrids, were in service. In the light truck category, 17 million vehicles, out of a total of 117 million vehicles were alternate fuel vehicles and 16 million of them were Ethanol flex vehicles. And, most people are running their ethanol; flex vehicles on good old fashioned gasoline. So, there is little or no incentive for manufacturers to make vehicles which produce less emissions of get substantially greater fuel mileage. The difference between 25 mpg and 35 mpg is negligible for most consumers, especially if it reduces the size of the vehicle.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | May 6, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I have to take strong exception to your confusion of concepts.

    Burning ethanol does not reduce emissions at all…whatsover.

    Burning ethanol requires MORE fuel per unit of power than does regular gasoline or diesel. BTU

    Especially in the realm of big trucks, manufacturers have EVERY incentive to increase efficiency. Virtually every big truck engine is now computer-controlled, and tuned to a degree impossible just years ago. Getting a few more miles per gallon out of something as slight as better running tires is very much in the interest of truckers. Manufacturers respond.

    Markets are rational, whereas regulators often are the opposite. The markets tell us that petro-chemicals are plentiful. Markets also tell us that burning ethanol as a motor fuel is irrational, hence we have BIG GOVERNMENT mandates requiring that we use ethanol. That has nothing to do with clean emissions or better efficiency. All it has to do with is the irrational fear of running out of oil.

      Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      You seem to have ignored the alternate fuel vehicles which use some from of electrical propulsion and key in on ethanol. Virtually no one uses a majority ethanol blend, even if they have a flex fuel vehicle, for several reasons.

      1) it is less efficient than gasoline.
      2) it is harder on certain engine components.
      3) it has a far greater affinity for water and a much higher freezing point.
      4) it is harder to find widespread sources for 85% ethanol fuels.

      If people really had any interest in reducing emissions, they would opt for either a pure electric vehicle or a gasoline electric hybrid. But, they do not. the consumer wants a gasoline powered vehicle producing certain performance levels and which is roomy enough to be very flexible.

      You are the one confusing concepts. The biggest market for vehicles in the US is not heavy trucks, but passenger cars and light trucks, including SUVs. And, heavy trucks have different mileage and emission standards than gasoline powered vehicles. So, when speaking of vehicle emission standards, one has to speak almost exclusively about gasoline powered passenger vehicles and light trucks. Heavy trucks are largely superfluous.

      YellowGrifterInChief in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      What a Pollyanna! Markets are rational over what period of time and to what end? For one thing, they simply don’t deal with externalities.

      Car manufacturers didn’t even want to put seat-belts in their cars because they didn’t want people thinking about accidents. They certainly didn’t want to do crash tests.

      GM used to flush all of their solvents and paint into the Hudson River north of me because they didn’t want to pay to dispose of them properly.

      They had absolutely no incentive to do anything about smog until CA forced them to. Then the NE joined them.

      You also leave out so much of the history of oil. The producers created cartels and lobbied to keep east Texas oil off the market. Prior to OPEC, imported oil was so much cheaper than domestic oil that domestic producers couldn’t compete. But had we gone strictly to imported oil we would have been strangled by the embargoes.

      Markets can be quite irrational from the point of view of individuals, whole nations or at any specific time. Like anyone with a fixed ideology, you are ultimately a silly man. You so like playing the learned man.

Gov. Moonbeam must be REALLY upset with Hawaii. I wonder what the auto emissions equivalent is for just this week there.

    4th armored div in reply to RITaxpayer. | May 6, 2018 at 11:23 am

    HI is a LibRuled state and so they need to cap the emissions of their volcanoes or be cited by the EPA and forced to pay fines /sarc

civil truth | May 6, 2018 at 11:53 am

Clearly Jerry Brown is a religious extremist by nature – and has transmuted his Jesuit zeal into being a priest for the secular religious cult of Global Warming – and the more resistance he encounters, the more fantastical his claims.

This is the classical behavior of “true believers” when their claims are increasingly being falsified and they seek to prop up the tottering structure.

What is dangerous here is that Brown and his ilk wish to coerce consensus through emploing the power of the State to label questioners as enemies of the state and church and to treat them as thought-criminals/heretics. A two level persecution: state prosecutions and secular excommunications.

It you want to see the essence of the genuinely dangerous union of church and state that our Founding Fathers sought to protect us against, just look at the Global Warming movement.

Junk science. Greenhouse gasses trap specific portions of the Sun’s radiation spectrum. CO2 (and methane and water vapor) only trap and retain such limited wavelengths.

If you dive into a swimming pool while it is raining, you do not get any wetter when you get out. Once the CO2 has soaked up all of the infrared radiation in the specific band that it absorbs, adding more CO2 to the atmosphere does not result an any additional temperature rise.

(It’s not quite that simple: the relationship between the temperature hat retained and the percentage of CO2 is actually a hyperbolic curve, but the more CO2 you put , the less additional heat is retained. An example of the Law of Diminishing Returns.)

So, since the Greenhouse effect of CO2 is limited, any claims that additional C)2 is Bad, must have to be based on some theory not yet propounded.

In the meantime, it’s all handwavium and underpants gnomes.

JohnSmith100 | May 6, 2018 at 12:12 pm

Would life be better overall with three billion population reduction?

So now Brown is claiming to represent the interests of three billion people? That’s some galactic-sized ego right there.

Rando Hawaiian Judge strikes again.

Wow, fatal and lethal? That must be really bad, huh?

tarheelkate | May 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Won’t the level of proof required to make this lawsuit go be fun to watch?

Wonder how many of the 18 state’s Attorneys general involved in this political stunt are Democrats?

Oops. I just answered my own question.

Every new round of EPA emission standards lately has been driven by political grandstanding rather than technology. The “Party of Science” and it’s fellow running dogs has ignored science and what is technically feasible in this matter, figuring that ” if they build it (the standards) they (the science) will come”.

Which is why the car company’s have been following the apparently insane tactic of selling smaller less polluting vehicles (cars) at a loss to meet thier fleet EPA emission targets. Or cheating (like VW) to pretend that the goals are attainable without pricing cars out of the reach of average buyers.

Rich card-carrying members of the Sierra Club see no problem in a defacto ban on autos for non-rich folks, in fact they may see it as a FEATURE. They don’t care about the mid to low income wage earner who loses the lifestyle freedom having your own transportation used to grant.

I don’t oppose increased rigor in emission standards per se, I oppose it on any basis of pie-in-the-sky non-existant tech being required to meet any new set goals.

This is clearly a Constitutional issue. The Constitution gives the federal government the authority to regulate interstate commerce. Not the governor of a single state, such as Jerry Brown, nor even the governors of 18 states.

Upthread there was a discussion about commercial trucks. Back in the 2007/2008 timeframe the California Air Resources voted to implement two particularly onerous regulations. Commercial trucks over 26k lbs would have been required to install Diesel Particulate Matter retrofit kits. Naturally the kali government low-balled their cost estimate for the retrofit, saying it would be $10-$20k. That would have been bad enough, but at the time Ironman was the only company making kali-compliant DPM retrofit kits, and the complete kit (filter, back pressure monitor, labor, and warranty) cost $25K.

The other was that they required all trucks 2007 and older to have the manufacturer permanently set the idle limiter to shut the engine down if it idles for five minutes. I’m not sure when they started installing those idle limiters, but newer trucks had them, and kali was making them mandatory. And illegal for the driver to attempt to override the limiter.

Truckers idle their engines for a reason. In most weather it’s to keep their gadgets on in their nice cozy behind-the-cab campers. Their refrigerator, their HVAC unit, their TV, their laptop, their lights. If you had to live on the road you wouldn’t want to spend your federally-required down time in a truck stop, either. Some trucks have Auxiliary Power Units, so they don’t they don’t have to idle as much, but they still have to idle to maintain their battery charge because APUs still use battery power. And APUs have to be maintained and repaired. An owner/operator may decide an APU is worth the trade-offs, but a lot of drivers don’t own their trucks and they’re not going to spend thousands of dollars a year to install and maintain a piece of equipment on a company vehicle. And a lot of companies don’t use them because they’ve done the math and it’s cheaper to just let the truck idle.

And it gets down to below freezing they idle to keep the engine warm and the fuel from gelling.

And here’s the kicker; that was for all trucks coming into the state. Not just trucks registered in kali, but for any truck whether the company is in North Carolina or Oklahoma.

And another kicker. Shippers aren’t responsible for the trucking companies they contract with; even Kali had to admit that. But kali did say if it turned out the truck wasn’t kali compliant then they would hold the shipper legally liable if they put the load on or accepted it off the truck.

Essentially, kali was demanding dictatorial power to regulate interstate commerce. They still are.

    Ragspierre in reply to Arminius. | May 8, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Slight correction…

    APUs are generally small diesel-powered generators with an A/C compressor usually incorporated. They are, as you’d imagine, not cheap, and they still consume diesel. They also require space, maintaining, and are a general pain in the ass.

    There are a few battery-based systems which isolate from the main batteries on the truck when in use.

    Several states (last I knew) had adopted anti-idling laws, which are (or were) not much enforced. It’s all loopy, since modern diesel engines “like” to idle and do so at very little consumption of fuel. But such is the world (or nation) we live in…

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