California is leading a coalition of 18 states to sue Donald Trump’s administration. The states represent around 43 percent of the US car market, and they say the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in attempts to weaken Barack Obama-era car emissions rules. California governor Jerry Brown said in a news conference, “This is about health, it’s about life and death. I’m going to fight it with everything I can.”

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New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, and the District of Columbia join California in suing the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt. The states seek to “set aside and hold unlawful” the EPA’s attempts to weaken fuel economy standards adopted in 2012 that take effect in 2022. They say the EPA violated the Clean Air Act and didn’t follow its own regulations.

Related: EPA set to repeal Obama-era rules for cleaner cars

“The federal standard the states are suing to protect is estimated to reduce carbon pollution equivalent to 134 coal power plants burning for a year, and save drivers $1,650 per vehicle,” the states said.

Cars travel to and from the city of Minneapolis in Minnesota

The Trump administration said the standards were too stringent, according to The New York Times, and moved forward legally with the aim of reopening them. The EPA hasn’t offered proposed new standards but has drafted new regulations that would weaken the rules post-2020. The publication also said after executives from the Big Three — General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler — visited the White House to request emissions rules that were more lenient, Trump’s administration began to try and roll back the standards.

Safe Climate Campaign director Dan Becker told The New York Times, “This is California saying: You really want war? We’ll give you war. It’s a signal to the administration that they’re not going to get away with anything in this space.”

+ Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Via The New York Times

Images via Depositphotos and Daniel McCullough on Unsplash