The battle between California and the federal government escalated last week. The state filed a lawsuit against the NHTSA and the EPA over the Trump administration’s proposal to freeze fuel efficiency and emissions regulations at 2020 levels. The proposal would also end California’s ability to set stricter standards.
Reuters reported on the lawsuit, which California hopes will force both government agencies to turn over documents and data used to make the decision over rolling back fuel efficiency and emissions regulations. The state claims both the EPA and NHTSA are holding back information and have not responded to Freedom of Information Act requests for California to view additional data.
The current regulations, put in place under the Obama administration, call for fuel efficiency levels to rise to 46.7 mpg by 2026. The Trump administration wants to freeze the mpg increases at 2020 levels, which are 37 mpg.
The federal proposal would end California’s longstanding ability to set its own fuel efficiency and emissions standards, too. California’s standards are followed by about a dozen other states. In 2011, the California Air Resource Board aligned itself with the Obama administration’s stricter standard.
However, in February, the Trump administration ended talks with the state. The federal government called on automakers to support the freezes, which most oppose. Instead, many automakers agree fuel economy levels should rise, but reflect the modern auto market that includes more trucks and SUVs.
The EPA believes it will have the final emissions rules published in spring or early summer, according to the report.