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Politics Appeals court agrees to pause lawsuit over Trump-era emissions rule

19:50  05 april  2021
19:50  05 april  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Overnight Energy: Biden clean electricity standard faces high hurdles | Appeals court agrees to pause lawsuit over Trump-era emissions rule | US, UAE say they'll invest in Middle East decarbonization

  Overnight Energy: Biden clean electricity standard faces high hurdles | Appeals court agrees to pause lawsuit over Trump-era emissions rule | US, UAE say they'll invest in Middle East decarbonization WEREN'T WE JUST HERE? Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Today, a major Biden administration campaign promise on clean power has a fight ahead of it; a lawsuit over a Trump administration emissions rule is on hold; and John Kerry talks decarbonization in the Middle East.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE.

a close up of a wooden table: Appeals court agrees to pause lawsuit over Trump-era emissions rule © The Hill Appeals court agrees to pause lawsuit over Trump-era emissions rule

An appeals court judge on Friday agreed to pause a lawsuit seeking to overturn a Trump administration rule on emissions standards and fuel economy.

More than 50 public interest groups and local and state governments had sued over the so-called Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) vehicles rule, which applies to vehicles with model years 2021-2026.

The rule cuts year-over-year improvements demanded from automakers from 55 miles per gallon by 2025 to 40 mpg by 2026. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued the rule unacceptably weakened emissions standards and hurt public health.

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"[T]he harms resulting from these unlawfully lax standards grow larger and larger with each passing model year of vehicle sales," a coalition of state and local governments said in a filing in March opposing a suspension of the lawsuit.

"The sheer magnitude of these accumulating harms, which include greenhouse gas emission increases greater than the total emissions of many States, warrants continued judicial oversight to ensure an opportunity for resolution if Respondents' review is delayed or leaves some of these harmful standards in place," the filing added.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) filed an amicus brief in the case in late January in support of the groups petitioning the rule.

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"The Rule's failure to prioritize the public as the [Clean Air Act] requires is demonstrated by its woeful health outcomes. EPA acknowledges that by weakening existing emission standards, the Rule will result in many more people dying and falling ill," the lawmakers wrote. "[T]he substance of the Rule - and the procedures by which it was adopted - dispel any notion that EPA and [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] faithfully carried out their duties consistently with Congress's directives."

The rule is also the subject of a probe by the EPA's Office of Inspector General, which is investigating reports that career EPA staff were shut out of development during the rule-making process.

"NHTSA would say nothing about what they were assuming. They wouldn't give us a copy of their models, they wouldn't share their assumptions, they wouldn't share their projections of how much the standards were going to cost," Jeff Alson, a former senior policy adviser to EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told The Hill in 2019.

Blue Jays select contract of southpaw Tommy Milone .
Toronto signed Milone to a minor league deal in February. The soft-tossing lefty started nine games between the Orioles and Braves in 2020.Toronto signed Milone to a minor league deal in February. The soft-tossing lefty started nine games between the Orioles and Braves in 2020, including getting the nod for Baltimore on Opening Day. After a decent start to the year with the O’s, Milone got knocked around in Atlanta. All told, he pitched to a 6.69 ERA/4.12 SIERA despite a career-best 22.1% strikeout rate (just worse than league average) and a stellar 3.3% walk rate.

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