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States sue Trump administration over delayed fuel-economy fines

States sue Trump administration over delayed fuel-economy fines
From Reuters - September 11, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York, California and three other U.S. states said on Monday they sued the federal government for delaying the rollout of higher gas-guzzler penalties for automakers whose vehicles fail to meet minimum fuel-economy standards.

The lawsuit, which also includes Vermont, Maryland and Pennsylvania, is the highest profile legal challenge to the Trump administrations vehicle policy to date. As part of a broad deregulation push under President Donald Trump, regulators are debating whether to grant automakers significant reductions in fuel economy requirements.

Fuel-efficient cars mean cleaner air, better overall health for our children, and savings at the pump ... We will hold the Trump administration accountable, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York and follows a separate suit by three environmental groups over the delay.

The U.S. Transportation Department declined comment.

The states and environmental groups are challenging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) decision in July to suspend a 2016 Obama administration regulation that more than doubled penalties.

Automakers protested the hike, saying it could increase industry compliance costs by $1 billion annually.

Congress ordered federal agencies in 2015 to adjust civil penalties to account for inflation and, in response, NHTSA proposed raising fines to $14 from $5.50 for every 0.1 mile per gallon of fuel that new cars and trucks consume in excess of required standards under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program.

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