Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan Joins Lawsuit to Defend Clean Car Rules

May 1, 2018

Attorney General TJ Donovan announced today that Vermont has joined a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to preserve the greenhouse gas emission standards currently in place for model year 2022-2025 vehicles. The standards save drivers money at the pump, reduce oil consumption, and curb greenhouse gases.

“The EPA’s rollback of emission standards is bad for Vermont’s environment and public health,” said Attorney General Donovan.  “The rollback will also hurt Vermont consumers. My office is committed to protecting the clean air that Vermonters deserve. We are going to do our part in the fight to preserve the current standards.”

Beginning in 2010, the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and California Air Resources Board established a single national program of greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2012-2025 vehicles.

The federal standards the states are suing to protect, for model year 2022-2025 vehicles, are estimated to reduce carbon pollution equivalent to 134 coal power plants burning for a year and to save drivers $1,650 per vehicle. At present, the car industry is on track to meet or exceed these standards.

Last year, the EPA affirmed these standards were appropriate based on an extensive record of data. However, on April 13, 2018, without evidence to support the decision, the EPA reversed course and claimed that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 vehicles should be scrapped. The Administration deferred any analysis to a forthcoming rulemaking designed to try to weaken the existing 2022-2025 standards.

The coalition of states filed today’s lawsuit in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  Along with Vermont, and the State of California, who is leading the coalition (by and through its Attorney General and the California Air Resources Board), the other states joining the filing include: Attorneys General of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania (also filed by and through its Department of Environmental Protection), Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Minnesota filed by and through its Pollution Control Agency and Department of Transportation.

Last modified: May 31, 2018