States sue Trump administration to keep California emissions rules
A group of 23 states including California have filed a lawsuit after the Trump administration moved to pull a waiver granting the state the ability to set its own car emissions rules.California led the lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the US auto regulator, arguing the federal government’s decision was “unlawful and should be vacated”.California was joined by 22 other states, the District of Columbia and the cities of New York and Los Angeles in the lawsuit filed Friday in the US district court in DC.Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced earlier this week that the US government would move to prevent California from enacting tougher fuel-economy standards, a decision that was expected to ignite a legal tussle.Former President Barack Obama handed California a special license in 2013 that allowed it to impose its own emissions rules. The Trump administration, which has argued for one national set of rules, said federal law pre-empts state and local regulations on fuel economy.Mr Trump has sought to loosen tailpipe restrictions, saying Obama-era regulations were overly burdensome for the auto industry and increased costs for consumers. California vowed to stick with its own standards and recently reached a new agreement with four automakers on emissions standards that are stricter than those proposed by the Trump administration.The EPA and Department of Transportation said the California agreement, reached with Volkswagen, Ford, BMW and Honda, “appears to be inconsistent with federal law”. The Department of Justice is probing the four companies to determine whether the deal violated antitrust law.