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Creative Commons

A group of 17 Republican attorneys general have sued the EPA over a decision to allow California to set its own auto tailpipe rules and zero-emission vehicle mandates that exceed federal standards.

The attorneys general allege the EPA’s Clean Air Act waiver violates the Constitution's equal sovereignty doctrine.

Officials from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia are part of the federal lawsuit, which was filed last week.

The challenge arises from the EPA decision to reinstate the waiver and withdraw its interpretation of the Clean Air Act that would prohibit other states from adopting California’s more stringent vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards.

The EPA action arose out of President Joe Biden’s executive order in January 2021 that directed the U.S. Department of Transportation and the EPA to reconsider the Trump Administration’s 2019 decision to revoke California's authority.

The EPA previously granted California the waiver in 2013.

"The Biden Administration has since repealed the Trump order and given California the go-ahead to set 'green' manufacturing standards, which in reality, crush the average American who is already facing astronomical prices at the pump because of the Biden administration's failed policies," Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement.

Republicans in Congress also are opposed to the Biden Administration's auto emissions policies.

“President Biden’s strict, rush-to-green auto emissions regulations are yet another example of this administration putting radical environmentalists’ agenda ahead of hardworking Americans,” U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, GOP leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement in December.

Meanwhile, the California Air Resources Board is working to develop regulations that will accelerate EV adoption and strengthen emission standards for new vehicles sold in the state. A new proposal calls for EVs, including plug-in hybrids, to make up nearly 70% of new-vehicle sales by 2030 to phase out the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks and achieve 100% EV sales by the 2035 model year.

  

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