States sue Trump administration over fuel economy penalties | TribLIVE.com
Politics Election

States sue Trump administration over fuel economy penalties

Associated Press
1495335_web1_1495335-b2d1d1276f3643c89dac04529b4bc35d
In this June 26, 2019, file photo, a man adds fuel to his vehicle at a gas station in Orlando, Fla. A coalition of states is suing the Trump administration for the second time to block a planned reduction in penalties automakers pay when they fail to meet fuel economy standards. Twelve states and the District of Columbia sued the administration Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, for replacing an Obama-era regulation that imposed a penalty of $14 for every tenth of a mile-per-gallon that an automaker falls below the standards. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
1495335_web1_1495335-bd1888b73c0b47338d5356e5e213b7b9
In this April 21, 2017, file photo, a San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency officer directs traffic in San Francisco. A coalition of states is suing the Trump administration for the second time to block a planned reduction in penalties automakers pay when they fail to meet fuel economy standards. Twelve states and the District of Columbia sued the administration Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, for replacing an Obama-era regulation that imposed a penalty of $14 for every tenth of a mile-per-gallon that an automaker falls below the standards. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A coalition of states sued the Trump administration Friday for the second time to block a planned reduction in the penalties automakers pay when they fail to meet fuel economy standards.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia sued the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for replacing an Obama-era regulation that imposed a penalty of $14 for every tenth of a mile-per-gallon that an automaker falls below the standards.

The lawsuit came a week after four major automakers announced a deal with California to toughen standards for gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement involving Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen bypasses the Trump administration’s push to relax mileage standards nationwide.

The new federal rule would keep the penalty at $5.50, where it has been since the mid-1970s.

The legal challenge led by the attorneys general in California and New York argues the new rule would keep the penalty far below the inflation-adjusted rate required by a 2015 law.

The new Trump rule says that 2015 law doesn’t apply to the mileage penalties, and if it did, nearly tripling the civil penalty rate would have a negative economic impact.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, which includes the highway safety administration, said it expects the Trump penalty would reduce the future burden on the industry and consumers by as much as $1 billion a year.

The states sued in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. The same court last year decided the administration could not delay the penalty increase.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement that the new Trump rule “seeks to make these penalties meaningless.”

“We’ll take on this latest wrong-headed maneuver with the same vigor that defeated the administration’s first attempt at backsliding,” he said.

The lawsuit contends the traffic safety administration decision was based on inaccurate assumptions on the economic impact of the increased penalties.

New York officials previously estimated the higher penalties would trim carbon emissions and save consumers on average $1,650 annually in fuel costs.

“Without strong penalties for violating these fuel efficiency standards, consumers, our economy, and our environment all remain in danger,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Joining in the lawsuit were the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Categories: News | Politics Election
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.