Minnesota sues EPA over rollback of vehicle emission rules

Exhaust pipe
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its intent to abandon stricter greenhouse gas emission regulations for 2022-2025 model year vehicles.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images file

Minnesota on Tuesday joined a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over its plan to pull back on tighter rules for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

The suit's plaintiffs include 17 states and the District of Columbia. They allege the EPA violated the Clean Air Act and didn't follow the agency's own clean-car rules.

"We can see no justification, nor any documented need, to set these protections back," Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine said in a statement.

California is leading the lawsuit, which is rooted in public health and environmental concerns.

The new emissions standards would affect model year 2022-2025 vehicles. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed off on the standards in January 2017, about a week before President Obama left office.

The MPCA says vehicle manufacturers were on track to meet these new emission standards, and that doing so would save drivers money and reduce as much carbon pollution as 134 coal power plants make in a year.

Current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last month that the agency would hold off on enacting the standards and further examine them.

Greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles are a main driver of climate change.

Pruitt has been skeptical of climate science and those views have informed his policymaking since President Trump named him head of the EPA.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.