31st Lawsuit: California Sues Trump Admin to Stop Auto Mileage Roll Back

Los Angeles Traffic (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Jae C. Hong / Associated Press
Newport Beach, CA

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed the state’s thirty-first lawsuit against the Trump administration, joining 16 other states to stop the rollback of Obama-era rules requiring car manufacturers to double auto mileage.

California is leading a coalition of 17 mostly Democrat-controlled states that seek to enjoin the U.S. Department of Transportation from exercising its constitutional authority to set national regulatory standards for the automobile industry, stipulating average mileage standards for the 2022-to-2025 model years.

In August 2012, President Barack Obama doubled the average fleet-wide vehicle Fuel Efficiency Standards for cars and light-duty trucks by the 2025 Model Year. President Obama claimed the move would provide American families an average fuel savings of over $8,000 per vehicle and “reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day – as much as half of the oil we import from OPEC every day.”

But hydraulic fracking, by doubling America’s domestic oil production, has already cut in half U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products from OPEC countries, according to a February 2018 report from the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

In a huge negative blowback from the Obama’s social justice engineering scheme, Ford Motor Company announced last week that the company will stop making most passenger cars and only focus on utility-type vehicles, including SUVs, pickup trucks, and commercial vans. Under a transition plan expected to be completed around 2020, the Mustang and a Focus Active debuting in 2020 will be the only passenger cars America’s second largest automaker will produce, according to Automotive News.

No forecast of expected auto industry job losses was released. But U.S. vehicle and parts manufacturing employment has risen from the 623,300 in June 2009, when General Motors went bankrupt in Obama’s first year, to a March 2018 recovery high of 964,800 under President Fonald Trump. That growth does not count the same month’s all-time-record high 3,336,500 auto dealer, parts, and repair jobs now serving American retail customers.

The transportation department’s draft proposal, released in April, would freeze vehicle requirements at 2020 levels through 2026. Reuters has reported that the draft regulations rely on a 1975 law passed by Congress that bars each state from imposing its own state emissions rules.

Although big U.S. auto manufacturers — including Ford, GM, Toyota, and BMW — have all demanded that the federal government set one standard for the entire nation, California Gov. Jerry Brown is resisting, calling the Trump administration’s policy an arbitrary and capricious violation of the Clean Air Act.

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