TOPEKA – (July 7, 2021) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to refrain from reinstating California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act which gives that state, and only that state, the authority to regulate which cars the rest of the nation drives.
Schmidt and the attorneys general from 15 other states sent a letter yesterday to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan urging the agency to continue the policy under the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule. The letter argues that the U.S. Constitution recognizes the states as equals, and does not give California special rights denied to every other state.
Under the Clean Air Act, the prior administration created national standards for vehicle carbon emissions for model years 2021 through 2026, treating all states as equal sovereigns subject to one federal rule. Recently, the Biden Administration proposed that California, and no other state, should be given a “waiver” from national carbon emissions standards and allowed to set its own standards. The waiver, designed decades ago to allow California to manage its severe smog problem, has instead been used by California to target fuel efficiency and global warming.
The letter sent by the attorneys general makes clear that any attempt to restore California’s waiver is unconstitutional and causes harm to non-Californians, needlessly driving up the costs of new vehicles and allowing California to exercise power denied to every other state.
“In this great union of sovereign states, the Golden State is not the golden child,” the attorneys general wrote.
A copy of the letter to the EPA can be found at https://bit.ly/3wmywrE.