Colorado Joins Multi-State Lawsuit To Challenge Trump Fuel Economy Standards

<p>David Zalubowski/AP Photo</p>
<p>In this Feb. 20, 2015 file photo, traffic comes to a standstill along Interstate 25, in downtown Denver.</p>

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser cried foul this week against an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to rollback fuel economy standards, joining a multi-state suit led by California.

“Climate change is not a theoretical looming challenge. It’s there today,” said Weiser. “Addressing carbon emissions is an imperative.”

In April, the Trump administration finalized a set of fuel economy rules for cars and trucks. Instead of the Obama-era standard of 55 miles per gallon by 2025, the Trump administration weakened the standard to 40 miles per gallon.

Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado. State leaders see electric vehicles and fuel economy standards as key levers in the effort to combat climate change.  

For its part, Colorado has a state law on the books to promote fuel efficiency. The low-emission vehicle standard was passed by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission in anticipation of the federal rollback in 2018. After the Trump administration limited states’ ability to set their own standard, Colorado joined onto a separate lawsuit from the one announced today.

While the court battles play out, Colorado officials at the Department of Public Health and Environment say they intend to implement the state’s low-emission vehicle standard, set to take place beginning with 2022 car models.