A federal court on Monday stopped another of the Trump administration’s attacks on clean air—its indefinite delay of stricter penalties for automakers producing vehicle fleets that don’t meet fuel efficiency standards.
“Today’s court order is a big win for New Yorkers’ and all Americans’ health and environment,” declared New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The ruling (pdf) by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit means the higher fine—going from $5.50 per tenth of a mile per gallon to $14 per tenth of a mile per gallon of fuel a vehicle guzzles beyond the standards—stays in place.
Leading environmental groups as well as a Schneiderman-led a coalition of attorneys general (pdf) had filed suit to stop the Trump administration’s planned delay of the Obama-era rule. A weak fine, they argued, serves as no incentive for automakers to improve technology that can slash carbon dioxide emissions.
“Americans will breathe easier because the court undid the Trump administration’s bizarre attempt to encourage toxic tailpipe pollution,” said Vera Pardee, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Cheap fines incentivize automakers to produce gas-guzzlers that fuel climate change and spew harmful pollutants. Reinstating proper penalties will help protect our kids’ lungs and our planet’s future.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT