After several delays, the Trump regime Thursday surrendered in the face of an eight-state lawsuit demanding that it implement an Obama administration rule requiring hundreds of transportation agencies to measure and compare the impacts of proposed projects on vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases.
The idea behind the rule is that these carbon pollution measurements would go far toward changing thinking about the efficacy of transportation projects and spur fresh thinking to reduce their climatic impacts.
Getting the rule implemented is a major victory for environmental advocates. But it comes with a big caveat. In announcing the reversal, the Federal Highway Administration also stated that it “has initiated additional rule-making procedures proposing to repeal the measure.” Michael Laris reports:
“Today, the Trump Administration backed down and will now implement the measure as is legally required,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) said in a statement. “Climate change is real. If President Trump is not prepared to admit it or to do his job of protecting our families by enforcing our environmental rules, then I’m prepared as Attorney General to call his bluff.”
California and the other states — Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon and Vermont — alleged in the suit, filed last week, that the administration had intentionally, and unlawfully, failed to give people the required opportunity to comment on the indefinite delay. Environmental groups had sued over the issue earlier, as well.
Various industry groups have opposed the rule, and the Trump regime has become notorious in some circles for working to cut federal environmental regulations, including this one.