California and 16 other states sued the Trump administration Tuesday over its plan to scrap Obama-era auto-emissions standards that would require vehicles to get significantly higher gas mileage by 2025. At issue is a move by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt to roll back 2012 rules aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Under those rules, vehicles would have to get 36 miles of real-world driving per gallon, about 10 miles over the existing standard. "Pollutants coming out of vehicles, out of the tailpipe, does permanent lung damage to children living near well-traveled roads and freeways. This is a fact. The only way we're going to overcome that is by reducing emissions," Gov. Jerry Brown said in announcing the lawsuit along with other top California Democrats.
The rules were set six years ago when California and the Obama administration agreed to a single nationwide fuel economy standard. Pruitt, who has sought to block or delay an array of environmental regulations, has argued that assumptions about gas prices and vehicle technology used by the Obama administration to set the standards were too optimistic, the AP reports. And he said the standards would hurt automakers and consumers who can't afford or don't want to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles. California officials say the standards are achievable and the effort to repeal them is not based on any new research. They argue the plan violates the federal Clean Air Act and didn't follow the agency's own regulations.
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