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Attorney General William Tong


AG Tong Urges NHTSA To Repeal Trump-Era Attack On California Authority To Set Clean Car Standards

(Hartford, CT) — Attorney General William Tong today joined a coalition of 22 states and 4 cities in urging the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to repeal a Trump-era rule, known as the “Preemption Rule,” that purported to preempt California’s greenhouse gas and zero-emission-vehicles (ZEV) standards. California's standards have been adopted by states representing more than one-third of the U.S. automobile market and have resulted in emissions reductions of hundreds of thousands of tons annually. In their letter, the coalition argues that NHTSA lacked authority under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to promulgate the Preemption Rule and that the rule must be repealed.

“This unlawful Trump Administration rule ignored basic federal environmental laws and administrative procedures and would have disastrous implications for our air quality and climate in years to come,” Attorney General Tong said. “No one wants dirty and inefficient vehicles — not consumers and not automakers. Our coalition is urging the NHTSA to repeal this damaging rule.”

California's greenhouse gas and ZEV standards, adopted by Connecticut, are critical to the fight against climate change, for improving air quality and protecting public health, and for driving technological innovation. Fifty years of experience has shown that the adoption of vehicle emissions standards not only reduces vehicular pollution in the present but drives the development and deployment of technologies that enable further cost-effective emission reductions in the future.

In the comment letter, the coalition argues that NHTSA must repeal the Preemption Rule because NHTSA lacked authority to promulgate it in the first place and should do so for the additional reason that the rule was an unprecedented and unwarranted attack on longstanding state laws central to states' efforts to protect their residents from the harmful effects of air pollution and climate change.

Attorney General Tong joins California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the California Air Resources Board, as well as the attorneys general of Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, as well as the city attorneys of Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, in filing the comment letter.

A copy of the comment letter can be found here.

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