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23 States Sue Trump Administration for Razing Climate Change Rule to the Ground

by Ace Damon
23 States Sue Trump Administration for Razing Climate Change Rule to the Ground

The Trump administration took one of its most significant anti-environmental measures as early as March, when the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation officially replaced the Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. The move dismantled one of President Barack Obama's strongest actions against climate change and replaced it with a new plan designed to cause far more environmental, economic and physical damage – and now, almost half of the nation's states are now backing down. Attorneys General from 23 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the reversal on Wednesday, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The new rule imposed by Trump "is a killer of jobs and a risk to public health," Becerra said in a statement. "This will increase costs for consumers and allow the emission of dangerous pollutants that directly threaten the health of our families."

Attorneys general, who also participated in the process for the cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Denver, believe that the new rule imposed by the Trump administration violates congressional mandates and “unduly and illegally relied on an error analysis, omissions and unfounded assumptions ”, in an attempt to justify dismantling the clean car standards set by the Obama administration, according to Becerra's statement. While these standards would compel automakers to improve fuel efficiency by 5% each year to reach a goal of 54 miles per gallon by 2025, the Trump rule reduces that standard to just 1.5%, with a goal of 40 miles per gallon by 2026. (The automakers themselves are Divided on reduced emissions standards, with some supporting the standards set by Trump, while others remain committed to the Obama era numbers.) A broad coalition of environmental groups also action moved against the EPA and the National Road Transport Safety Administration over the rule on Wednesday, with the Sierra Club describing the reversal as one of the "most reckless and destructive actions by the Trump administration" and "one of the most inattentive regulatory actions to date. time". “This flawed rule – which will increase pollution, endanger public health, reduce jobs and further increase the weight of American families with higher fuel costs – will not be upheld in the courts, as will the vast majority of unjustified actions by the Trump administration, ”Joanne Spalding, said the head of the Sierra Club climate council in a statement.

While the EPA claims that the new Trump era rule "strikes the right regulatory balance, protects our environment and sets reasonable goals for the auto industry, while supporting our economy and the safety of American families," the real projected effects of the reversal they are much less pink. The Trump administration itself estimated that the measure would result in an additional 867 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to maintaining more stringent standards and a analyze by the Environmental Defense Fund estimated that there could be 1.5 billion tons of climate change pollution as a result of the reversal by 2040. Although the Trump administration tried to justify the reversal as being good for consumers, because vehicle prices would be more Cheap, Consumer Reports found which will actually cost consumers an additional $ 3300 on average per vehicle and will result in at least $ 460 billion in costs for consumers in general. (The Obama era regulation, on the other hand, saved consumers $ 86 billion in fuel costs before being reversed, according to the EPA.) Most importantly, fuel reversal can cost some Americans their lives. The FED analysis projects that there will be 18,500 premature deaths in the middle of the century due to the reversal, along with a sharp increase in respiratory illnesses, and health problems will result in an additional $ 190 million in health care costs. The Trump emissions rule is "a slap in the face for public health," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said The New York Times.

Even the EPA acknowledged in particular that the move will result in an additional 17 highway deaths per year, according to the Associated Press. reported in August 2018, despite the agency publicly claiming that the reversal would save 1,000 lives a year. This disconnect seems to be emblematic of the supposedly sloppy process and replete with implementation errors of the new rule that AGs and environmental groups referred to when filing their actions, as the reports suggest a chaotic atmosphere in which career employees and scientific evidence were nullified by interests politicians . The AP report found that career officials told the White House Office of Administration and Budget that the government's rationale for the updated efficiency rule was based on miscalculations – but as a former employee told the publication, "a EPA career team has been totally ignored ". A New York Times report in August 2019, likewise, found that public comments about the rollback and analyzes of its alleged benefits were "at odds with what the White House wanted to do", and EPA and Department of Transportation officials were " struggling to assemble a coherent technical team ". and scientific analysis ”to justify the change. In addition, the team in charge of implementing the new emissions rule was also reportedly turbulent: several employees who worked on the reversal left the office or management, leaving a 29-year-old White House adviser with limited climate change experience to oversee the complex project.

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