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States Aim to Shield Calif.’s Emission Rules

The District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York City and 23 states hope to block federal regulators from stripping California of its power to set emission limits for cars.

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The District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York City and 23 states are seeking a court order to block federal regulators from stripping California of its power to set emission limits for cars.

The Trump administration intends to rescind California’s rights under the Clean Air Act of 1970 to establish its own air quality standards and to set sales quotas for zero-emission vehicles in the state. The White House contends that the Clean Air Act prohibits both initiatives.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., argues the opposite. It contends that the Trump administration has ignored the intent of Congress, misread existing environmental law, neglected to consider the impact on public health and failed to conduct any analysis to justify its actions.

The Trump administration says it simply wants to ensure that the U.S. addresses vehicular exhaust emissions through a single set of regulations. The administration also believes those standards are already as tough as they should be. It argues that implementing the more stringent emission limits currently in place for 2021-2025 would cost consumers too much.

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