On the same day that President Trump announced a review of federal vehicle emissions standards, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced he was leading a coalition of attorneys general asking him to stop the review. Schneiderman also announced New York would file a motion in support of the EPA in a lawsuit that Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers filed against them regarding federal emissions standards.
In a press release, Scheiderman announced that he and attorneys general from Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection were calling on the Trump administration to not interfere in state-level policies that enforce strict emissions standards for cars. All of the above states have adopted "the California standard" for emissions, which are stricter than even the Obama administration's requirements.
A joint statement from all the attorneys general read:
Weakening these commonsense standards would undermine successful efforts to combat the pollution emitted by vehicles - emissions that cause widespread, substantial harm to public health and are one of the largest sources of climate change pollution. An extensive technical study by the Environmental Protection Agency already found that the standards are fully and economically achievable by the auto industry. Relaxing them would increase the air pollution that is responsible for premature death, asthma, and more - particularly in our most vulnerable communities.
We will vigorously oppose attempts by the Trump Administration to weaken our vehicle emission policies and put our public health at risk, and we won’t hesitate to stand up for the right of our states to adopt stricter pollution standards that provide critical protections to the health of our residents and our environmental resources.
A rollback of federal standards and a government challenge to California's standards had been mentioned earlier this month, but had not moved forward since the first report on the matter. Today's announcement doesn't come as a shock, given that Trump's own EPA chief said he needed more evidence before he would accept that carbon dioxide is a primary driver of climate change.
According to Schneiderman, the EPA itself determined that the fuel standards the agency set for 2022-2025 model cars under the Obama administration "are readily achievable by the auto industry." Schneiderman's press release also says that under the current emissions standards, greenhouse gas emissions by 2017-2025 model cars would be cut by two billion metric tons.
In addition to forming a suit-clad version of the Planeteers, Schneiderman announced that New York State would join California and file a motion of support for the current national emissions standards, which are being challenged by a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit.