(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is leading a coalition of 15 other states in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to not reinstate California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which unconstitutionally allows California — and only California — to regulate which cars we may drive.
Yost and the attorneys general from 15 states sent a letter today 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 Constitution recognizes the states as equals, and does not give California special rights denied to every other state.
“This is not the United States of California. To the extent that 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.”
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 a global issue: fuel efficiency and global warming.
The letter sent by Yost and his colleagues is to make it 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 states joining Yost in signing the letter to the EPA include: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.