The world is changing. It’s no secret that the Trump administration is less worried about the environment than the rest of the world. It’s also no secret that Trump has installed officials into positions for which they’re not really qualified — like the new heads of NASA or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), neither of whom believe in man-made climate change.
This is a cause for concern for many state governments and the people who reside in those states because they rely on protections put into practice by those agencies to keep the air they breathe — or the water they drink — clean and free of pollutants.
Dozens of states — Pennsylvania included — have filed multiple lawsuits against the Trump administration and the EPA for rolling back emissions standards. Even coal and oil companies have said that these moves were a bad idea, and they’re the ones who supposedly benefit from these “business-friendly” policies!
The most recent coalition action was filed in the DC Circuit court system in order to allow California to set its own “Advanced Clean Car Standards” so that the rest of the states might follow suit. The Trump administration has argued that a single state should not have the ability to influence national policy on such a level. But the fact is, most states want cleaner air, and California has been the leader for these policies for a long time.
Attorney General Kaul said, “Today’s filing is part of the multi-state effort to protect the ability of states to keep leading the fight against climate change. It’s always important that states have the opportunity to lead efforts to protect our national resources, and it’s especially important now, as the Trump administration has abandoned efforts to protect our environment.”
California’s Advanced Clean Cars Program for many types of road vehicles was first adopted in January 2012. It sets standards for these vehicles and helps reduce smog and other dangerous emissions. This forces automakers to change their own standards because the population of California is so high. Ignoring the consumer base there isn’t an option, which means changing standards is the most cost-effective solution.
States included in the lawsuit are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Municipalities of Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City are also attached to the comprehensive lawsuit.
Even if the Trump administration wins in court, it is unknown whether or not automakers would actually reduce standards to reflect the change.