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Court Rules in Favor of California's Strict Auto Emission Rules

Court Rules in Favor of California's Strict Auto Emission Rules

Apr 12, 2024

Court Rules in Favor of California's Strict Auto Emission Rules

A recent ruling by a federal appeals court has reaffirmed California's ability to impose its own vehicle emissions standards, which are stricter than federal guidelines. On April 9, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Appeals Court decided in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) waiver that allows California to enforce its own tailpipe emissions limits and electric vehicle requirements.

The legal challenge, mounted by fuel companies and 17 states led by Republicans, argued that California's regulations violated state sovereignty and could potentially increase costs. However, the panel, consisting of Judges Robert Wilkens, J. Michelle Childs, and Bradley Garcia, rejected these claims. They concluded that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate how California's standards would raise costs for gas-powered vehicles in their regions.

Governor Gavin Newsom responded to the ruling with a statement on Tuesday, saying, "Today the court sided with common sense and public health against the fossil fuel industry and Republican-led states. This ruling reaffirms California’s longstanding right to address pollution from cars and trucks, work started by Gov. Ronald Reagan and codified by President Richard Nixon."

The regulations, initially granted a waiver by the EPA in 2013, require manufacturers to cut carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles by 34 percent between 2017 and 2025. Additionally, at least 15 percent of new vehicles sold in the state must be electric-powered by the same year. The court's decision was underpinned by the acknowledgment of the "climate crisis" affecting California, noting the state's significant pollution challenges.

In 2022, the California Air Resources Board took an even more ambitious step by approving a plan to stop the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. This move has already seen support from major automakers such as Ford, Honda, BMW, and Volkswagen, who have committed to compliance.

"The clean vehicle transition is already here—it’s where the industry is going, the major automakers support our standards, and California is hitting our goals years ahead of schedule. We won’t stop fighting to protect our communities from pollution and the climate crisis," said California's Governor Newsom.

The Epoch Times Article


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