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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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June 11, 2021


Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today, as part of a multistate coalition, urged the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to repeal the Preemption Rule that purported to preempt California's greenhouse gas and zero-emission-vehicles (ZEV) standards. California's standards have been adopted by states representing more than one-third of the U.S. automobile market and have resulted in emissions reductions of hundreds of thousands of tons annually. In their letter, Raoul and the coalition argue that the NHTSA lacked authority under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to promulgate the Preemption Rule and that the rule must be repealed.

"These standards are an important tool that limit the emissions of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change," Raoul said. "I urge the NHTSA to repeal the rule so that states can continue to enact policies that will prevent pollution, fight climate change and improve public health."

The greenhouse gas and ZEV standards are critical to combatting climate change, improving air quality and protecting public health, and for driving technological innovation. Fifty years of experience has shown that the adoption of vehicle emissions standards not only reduces vehicular pollution in the present but drives the development and deployment of technologies that enable further cost-effective emission reductions in the future.

In the comment letter, Raoul and the coalition argue that the NHTSA must repeal the Preemption Rule because it lacked authority to promulgate the rule in the first place. The attorneys general also state that the rule was an unprecedented and unwarranted attack on longstanding state laws central to states' efforts to protect their residents from the harmful effects of air pollution and climate change.

Joining Raoul in filing the comment letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin; the California Air Resources Board; and the city attorneys of Oakland, California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, California.

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