Attorney General Rosenblum Joins Lawsuit against Trump Administration’s Attempt to Trample Clean Car Standards

September 20, 2019
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Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum today joined a coalition of 24 Attorneys General and two cities in filing a lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to challenge the Trump Administration’s unprecedented action attempting to deprive California and other states of the right to establish vehicle emission standards that reduce carbon pollution. These standards are a key part of Oregon’s efforts to curb emissions, improve air quality and address the climate crisis.

“Why is the federal government protecting polluters and big oil, over the wishes of states that choose to protect their environment? Families want less pollution and better gas mileage for their cars,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “Today, with basically the stroke of a pen, the federal administration just set back years of hard work on reducing carbon emissions. Joining this lawsuit is a “no brainer” to demonstrate our commitment to this fight, not only to protect Oregonians —but also to save our planet.”

In 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted California permission to establish their own vehicle emission standards and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards. Pursuant to Federal law, Oregon was able to join 12 other states and the District of Columbia in joining these vehicle emission standards. In addition, the Federal government itself adopted emissions standards that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also decided to raise fuel efficiency to over 50 miles per gallon by 2026. But the federal government has indicated that it plans to weaken greenhouse gas emissions standards and freeze Federal mileage standards to 37 miles per gallon from 2020-2026, costing consumers billions of dollars, despite the fact that major automakers have said that they can meet much stronger standards.

With this rule change, the Federal government claims that California and other states are prohibited from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars. It is estimated that due to higher standards, states have reduced emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons annually, and encouraged the development of emission controls technologies.

In addition to Oregon and California, Attorneys General joining the lawsuit include 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, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia; as well as the cities of Los Angeles and New York

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.