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Drivers battle traffic during rush hour in Los Angeles, CA in March 2015. Eric Demarcq / flickr / cc

States Representing 44% of U.S. Population Sue EPA for Blocking Auto Emissions Standards

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia is suing the Trump administration for blocking greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles that aimed to reduce air pollution and curb U.S. drivers' contributions to the global climate crisis.

In what critics called an "indefensible and frankly embarrassing decision," last month U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt caved to automobile industry lobbyists' demands and announced that his agency is drafting relaxed manufacturing rules for vehicles made between 2022 and 2025.

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Los Angeles skyline. Prayitno Photography / CC BY 2.0

U.S. Air Pollution Falling More Slowly Than EPA Data Suggests

U.S. air pollution isn't declining as fast as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has claimed, a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed.

To track the levels of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, two pollutants that contribute to smog formation, an international research team used satellite pollution measurements backed up by local air quality monitor readings.

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Pacific Coast Highway traffic. Kenyon Edmond / Flickr

Koch vs. California: These Groups Want Pruitt to Undo the State’s Right to Regulate Auto Emissions

By Ben Jervey

A coalition of conservative groups, many with close ties to the Koch brothers, is calling for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to strip California of its right to set stricter greenhouse gas limits for personal vehicles.

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Traffic on the I-405 in Los Angeles. Eric Beteille / Flickr

Why California Gets to Write Its Own Auto Emissions Standards: 5 Questions Answered

By Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins

Editor's note: On April 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Trump administration plans to revise tailpipe emissions standards negotiated by the Obama administration for motor vehicles built between 2022 and 2025, saying the standards were set "too high." Pruitt also said the EPA was re-examining California's historic ability to adopt standards that are more ambitious than the federal government's. Legal scholars Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins explain why California has this authority—and what may happen if the EPA tries to curb it.

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Two Major Climate Change Lawsuits Move Forward

By Ken Kimmell

A major front in the climate change debate has moved to the courtroom, as I've previously discussed. Last week, plaintiffs in two separate cases won significant procedural victories—one against major fossil fuel companies, and a second against the Trump administration. Here are the latest developments and their implications.

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Scott Pruitt: California Can’t 'Dictate' National Emissions Policy

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt had fighting words for California in an interview with Bloomberg News Tuesday, deepening a rift between the Trump administration and the Golden State over the future of Obama-era fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks.

The EPA faces an April 1 deadline to determine if the emissions standards set by the previous administration are achievable from 2022 to 2025. California, which has been granted a waiver by the Clean Air Act of 1970 to set its own, tougher standards, has already said it will stick to the Obama-era regulations. The state is currently in the process of drafting its own standards through 2030.

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Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt. BipHoo Company / Flickr

Court Rules Pruitt Broke the Law for Smog Rule Delay

A federal judge ruled Monday that Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), broke the law for failing to implement his agency's ozone pollution rule.

Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said Pruitt violated the Clean Air Act for failing to announce by Oct. 1, 2017 which areas in the country have unhealthy levels of smog, a rule set by the 2015 ozone standard.

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Border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Mani Albrecht / Flickr

Judge Allows Trump to Waive Environmental Laws to Build Border Wall

A federal judge in San Diego ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration can waive a slew of environmental laws and other regulations to build the president's highly vaunted U.S.-Mexico border wall in California.

Federal laws waived by the Department of Homeland Security for construction of a border wall include the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Antiquities Act and many more.

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eflon / Flickr

Trump EPA Withdraws Clean Air Policy Opposed By Fossil Fuel Companies

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing the "once-in always-in" policy for the classification of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

As Reuters pointed out, the move on Thursday is "part of President Donald Trump's effort to roll back federal regulations and was sought by utilities, the petroleum industry and others."

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