The lawsuit claims that Michael Regan, the agency’s administrator, violated a doctrine in the U.S. Constitution granting states equal sovereignty.
A lawsuit has been filed against the EPA by 17 state attorneys general because the agency has given California a waiver to set its own car emission standards.
The lawsuit claims that Michael Regan, the agency’s administrator, violated a doctrine in the U.S. Constitution granting states equal sovereignty by allowing California to apply for a waiver to set stricter emissions limits for new cars than the limit set federally.
It comes after Regan said in March that the EPA reinstated California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to implement its own emissions standards, first granted in 2013 under the administration of former President Barack Obama but revoked in 2019 under former President Donald Trump.
“The Act simply leaves California with a slice of its sovereign authority that Congress withdraws from every other state,” Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia, said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“The EPA cannot selectively waive the Act’s preemption for California alone because that favoritism violates the states’ equal sovereignty.”
President Trump previously revoked the California waiver.
Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the attorneys general for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
In 2019 the Trump administration revoked a waiver previously granted to California in 2013, which allowed it to set stricter standards for vehicles than the national standard. This March, Regan announced the waiver would be restored.
The EPA, which said as early as 2021 that it would reconsider the revocation, has called the Trump administration’s decision to revoke the waiver “inappropriate.” In its announcement, the agency said its predecessors’ decision was not based on any factual errors in the waiver.
If the Biden administration’s failure were a fuel, we would be energy independent for the next 100 years.
After the waiver was rescinded, California sued the federal government, arguing the tougher standards were necessary to improve air quality in the state.
Three years later, under the Biden administration in 2022, the EPA reversed its hostile stance toward California’s vehicle emission standards and reinstated the waiver under the Clean Air Act. Multiple attorneys general called California’s special treatment unconstitutional, including many of the states that joined the recent petition.
In March, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Republican leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, “President Biden’s strict auto emissions regulations are yet another example of this administration putting a radical rush-to-green regulatory regime ahead of restoring America’s energy dominance and leadership.”
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