Yost and 15 other attorneys general recently wrote Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, urging the agency to not reinstate a California waiver under the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule that Yost said would allow the state to determine which cars could be driven throughout the country.
“This is not the United States of California. To the extent the national standards are necessary, they should be set by the federal government,” Yost said. “As a practical matter, this is not a waiver of federal regulation – it is a delegation of federal authority to a state, and an improper one at that.”
The Trump administration created a national standard for vehicle carbon emissions for model years 2021 through 2026, treating all states equal, according to a news release from Yost. The Biden administration proposed, however, California should be given a waiver from national carbon emissions standards and allowed to set its own standards.
Yost said the waiver, which was designed decades ago to allow California to manage its smog issues, has been used by the state to target issues such as fuel efficiency and global warming.
If California is allowed to create its own standards, according to the letter, car manufacturers would not create two separate fleets, but likely only one with the stricter California standards.
“So it makes no sense to let California regulate Ohio’s vehicles,” the letter said. “While Ohio ceded some of its sovereignty to the Federal government in joining the Union, at no point has Ohio ceded its sovereignty to California, which is precisely what granting California a waiver would amount to.”
The states joining Ohio in the letter include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.