U.S. Sues California For Entering Agreement With Quebec To Control Emissions

Last week, the U.S. sued the state of California along with other state entities for entering an agreement with Canadian province, Quebec, back in 2013. The agreement was to control emissions linked to climate change and the issue being that the state had no right to conduct foreign policy.

According to the Justice Department, the state of California, state officials, the California Air Resources Board, and the Western Climate Initiative Inc. entered into the 2013 agreement without congressional approval.

In the lawsuit, President Donald Trump’s administration makes the argument that the constitution prohibits states from making treaties or pacts with foreign powers. Aside from the constitutional issues, the Trump administration has eased regulations on the oil, gas and coal industries which contradicts what California is trying to accomplish. The White House has been battling with California over its ability to set its own auto emissions standards.

And California is not alone in this fight. After the Trump administration’s plan to freeze standards at 2021 levels, four automakers reached a deal with the state to increase gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen came to a compromise with the California Air Resources Board. California has said it would exercise its powers to set stricter pollution and mileage standards than the federal government proposed. Automakers see the agreement as “insurance” to provide some certainty to the industry and the state no matter who wins the 2020 presidential elections.

After the Trump administration rejected a compromise between existing policies and the new proposal to roll back emissions regulations, the four automakers took it upon themselves to do it anyway.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration said it would revoke California’s authority to set strict car pollution rules. However, nearly two dozen states had already adopted the rules, including New York, New Mexico and Minnesota. The above-mentioned states have sued the administration to prevent Trump from blocking the California standard. This is the latest suit in a string of lawsuits that the Justice Department has filed against California.