State AGs say EPA violated law with fuel efficiency rollback

State AGs say EPA violated law with fuel efficiency rollback
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Several state attorneys general said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the law by informing them as it planned to scale back fuel efficiency requirements for vehicles.

The attorneys say an executive order from the Clinton administration requires the agency to consult with states before proposing standards that would freeze Obama-era fuel requirements for new vehicles. 

“The Trump Administration is not only paving the way for polluters, it is doing so illegally. For decades, states have stepped up to protect our planet with cost-saving, pollution-fighting clean car regulations. Trump’s Administration wants to overturn these standards, and failed to follow basic accountability measures in proposing new rules,” New York Attorney General Leticia James said in a statement.

Some states have opposed to the Trump administration's fuel economy rollback because it would prevent them from adopting the stricter fuel efficiency standards currently allowed in California.

New York, along with 11 other states, say they discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request that the agency was discussing the rollback long before they were alerted and asked EPA to open the rule back up for comment.

“The FOIA responses now confirm that the agencies have not complied with the Executive Order. The agencies should accept this supplemental comment into their rulemaking dockets because the delay in submitting the comment is attributable entirely to the agencies’ late responses to the FOIA requests,” the states said in a letter to EPA.

An EPA spokesperson said the agency would respond to the letter through the proper channels.

“As the Administration has long stated, we are pursuing one national standard to provide safe, affordable vehicles for consumers while also improving environmental outcomes," the agency said in an email to The Hill. 

The letter was signed by Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington in addition to New York.