Maryland officials pledge to fight for California auto emissions standards, which are the law here, too

Maryland’s top elected officials are pledging to fight Trump administration moves to weaken vehicle emissions standards.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration was revoking California’s right to set emissions rules more strict than the federal government’s. California’s rules are also the law in 13 other states, including Maryland.


In a statement Wednesday, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh pledged to "fight this destructive policy.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom also pledged to sue.

“California has led the nation in advancing clean air strategies and in addressing our climate crisis," Frosh said. “This latest action puts oil company profits first and puts the health of our people and our environment last.”


In a letter dated Sept. 10, Gov. Larry Hogan directed Frosh to take “immediate legal action” to stop federal rollbacks of emissions standards. The letter pointed to a Trump proposal to weaken federal auto emissions standards tightened by Obama administration, and also said states’ authority to impose their own vehicle emissions standards was in jeopardy.

“As a national leader on clean cars, climate change, and greenhouse gas reduction, my administration cannot allow these federal actions to stand,” Hogan wrote.

Maryland adopted California’s stricter vehicle emissions rules in 2007.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration would take away the right of California — and other states, by extension — to set such standards more aggressively than the federal government does.

In a tweet, Trump said his action would result in less expensive, safer cars. He also predicted Americans would purchase more new cars, which would result in cleaner air as older models are taken off the roads.

“Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” Trump tweeted.

California’s authority to set its own, tougher emissions standards goes back to a waiver issued by Congress during passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. The state has long pushed automakers to adopt more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles that emit less pollution.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.