Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he is still considering whether to overturn a federal waiver that permits California to set its own tailpipe emission standards. The waiver also permits other states to opt in to California’s standards, which are more rigorous than the requirements set by the federal government.
“We are working very closely with California on the issue,” Pruitt said during a hearing at the Capitol before a House subcommittee. “It’s important we work together to achieve a national standard.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has said he is prepared to sue the EPA if it overturns the waiver. California is aiming to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
Pruitt's statements come on the heels of a federal appeals court ruling on Monday that blocks the Trump administration from delaying a rule that would raise penalties for automakers who don't meet fuel efficiency standards.
Since the 1970s, federal regulators have sought to toughen fuel efficiency standards by fining automakers $55 for every mile-per-gallon that falls short of government-set energy efficiency targets.