New Jersey and 22 other states filed suit on the Environmental Protection Agency today, asking a federal court to block the Trump administration from stripping the California Car Waiver that would set strict fuel-efficiency standards on cars and trucks within its borders.
“Today, New Jersey and 22 other states filed a lawsuit today to stop Trump from dismantling the California Clean Air Waiver Rule. Trump’s rollback to the waiver rule will impact New Jersey’s air because we are tied to their program. Trump’s decision to eliminate the California waiver is a direct attack on our lungs. This means dirty air for the people of New Jersey, more asthma and respiratory problems from tailpipe emissions, less green jobs, all while we pay more to fuel our vehicles,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We will see more trips in the emergency room for asthma attacks. New Jersey will never be able to reach the targets of the Global Warming Response Act or meet a payment for ground level ozone if Trump is successful in blocking the California Waiver Rule. This hits us in the lungs and in the wallets.”
In September, New Jersey, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Columbia, Los Angeles, and New York filed a similar suit that challenges against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which helps determine regulations for fuel economy. The lawsuit argues that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) new rule, which purports to invalidate state rules limiting vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, is unlawful and must be set aside.
“New Jersey is standing up to the Trump Administration by filing suit and siding with the people over polluters. Trump is blocking a California waiver that has saved many lives and prevented air pollution across the country and in New Jersey. Of all of the rollbacks and attacks on the environment, this may be one of the worst and have the biggest long-term consequences. Trump’s move will impact New Jersey more than any other state because 45% of our pollution comes from automobiles. We also get impacted because we are a corridor state getting pollution from in and out of state that are driving on our turnpikes and other major highways,” said Tittel.
By revoking a special waiver the state has relied on for years, the administration will be saying that no state can set more ambitious pollution controls than those adopted by the federal government. California has the authority to set its own greenhouse gas rules for cars under the Clean Air Act and a waiver granted by the Obama administration. Some of the projected effects of EPA’s rollbacks to the CAFE standards for automobiles and Clean Power Plan are 41,500 deaths over a decade, 41,000 premature deaths over a decade, and 1.67 million cases of respiratory ailments over a decade, where over 50 percent of those cases are related to children respiratory ailments over a decade.
“Trump is trying to force Big Oil’s agenda on the people of the United States. He is siding with polluters over our environment. His rollbacks to the CA Waiver and CAFE will mean more GHG’s and more dirty fossil fuel use that will undermine any effort to combat climate change. That is why we need to stand up to that Fossil Fool in the White House. We thank Attorney General Grewal for joining 23 other states to protect our clean air and to stop Trump from continuing to roll back environmental protections. We need to fight and keep on fighting so that our state and our country will be cleaner and greener,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
source press release