California sues EPA for loosening car emission limits
The Attorney General of the State of California, Xavier Becerra, is suing the American Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for loosening emission standards for cars in the US last month. He does this together with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that regulates air quality measures in America’s strictest state when it comes to environment.
Once In, Always In
In a joint statement Becerra and CARB accuse the EPA of “illegally abolition of a since 1995 long-established policy, known as ‘Once In, Always In’, which forces the most polluting actors – like oil refineries and chemical plants – to take sustainable measures to push back their emissions.”
“By undoing the lower car emission standards set by the Obama administration the EPA is undermining the ‘Once In, Always In’ policy”, they say. “Setting a precedent would encourage the most polluting players to mess around with air pollution rules and avoid important emission reducing measures.”
Illegal and immoral
Becerra accuses EPA director Scott Pruitt, a Trump trustee who himself was a fierce opponent of the EPA under the Obama administration, of “helping the biggest polluters instead of setting the health of the hard-working Americans as a priority”. “That is illegal and immoral”, says Becerra who asks the court to nullify the EPA standards.
One of the CARB’s responsibilities is setting emission standards for cars. California is the only state in America permitted to set its own – more strict – emission standards under the federal 1970 Clean Air Act. Thirteen other states choose to follow the Californian standards, but are not allowed to set them by themselves.
54.2 miles per gallon
Pruitt, who follows Trump in his conviction that the standards set by Obama in 2012 to force car makers to an average fuel consumption of 54.2 miles per gallon (4,3 l/100 km) by 2025 “are out of control”, said he wants to get rid of the Californian exception of setting its own standards too.