The new Trump administration proposal to freeze rules to build more fuel-efficient cars-and revoke California's long-standing right to set stronger standards for clean cars-would cost the American economy $457 billion by 2050, according to an analysis from the nonprofit Energy Innovation.
Lara, who recently authored a bill that seeks to amend zoning laws to make electric vehicle charging stations more accessible, said he supported the lawsuit filed by almost 20 states, including California, to protect the air quality standards the Trump administration is trying to weaken.
The proposal would freeze US mileage standards at levels mandated by the Obama administration for 2020, when the new vehicle fleet will be required to hit an average of 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving.
Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, auto safety, exhaust emissions and costs.
California has had the authority under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own mileage standards to combat its chronic smog problem.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state would "use every legal tool at its disposal" to defend the tougher rules.
"My job as the state's attorney general is to protect my state's rights and interests and the environmental rights of all Pennsylvanians", Shapiro said.
California and 16 other states sued in the administration over the fuel efficiency standards in May, anticipating the new regulation.
Becerra said he was already preparing to sue the Trump administration and would be joined by 18 other state attorneys general, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and NY.
"For more than a decade, ME and the other states have used our rights under the Clean Air Act to limit tailpipe pollution beyond federal minimum requirements", Emmie Theberge, federal project director at NRCM, said in a statement. He said it was the administration's goal to come up with a "50-state solution that does not necessitate pre-empting California". Instead, the Trump administration would keep it below 40 miles per gallon.
The Trump administration proposal could also invalidate California's mandate that automakers sell a certain number of electric vehicles. Letting one state make decisions for people in other states makes a bad program even worse, especially since the state is California, which has been pursuing an anti-car agenda for decades.
The new proposed standards would also take away an individual state's ability to set standards above federal requirement - an attack on the higher California standard that is also followed by many other states. These changes were expected under the administration of President Donald Trump, who has said that fuel economy standards were imposing greater costs on the average consumer.
Now, the Trump administration is proposing to flatline fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emission standards from 2021 to 2026, locking models produced during those years to standards pegged to 2020.
Some, like Toyota, say they'll go for standards that increase over time and "encourage new technologies in the marketplace and account for today's market realities". The state, and others that have adopted the standard, have vowed to fight in court. It might even cause vehicle prices to stop increasing so rapidly.
Although some might say lowering fuel-economy standards would cause environmental harm, the truth is it would likely reduce harm.