Carolyn Long Campaign Rally

Attorney General Bob Ferguson greets attendees during a campaign rally for Carolyn Long at the Centralia Timberland Library in July 2019.

OLYMPIA — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a legal challenge Wednesday against the Trump administration's decision to roll back vehicle emissions standards, according to his office.

Filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the lawsuit alleges the emissions rollback for cars and some light-duty trucks violates the federal Clean Air Act and other laws, according to a news statement.

Washington joined the lawsuit along with 27 other statesand municipalities.

"As climate change grips our world, we should be strengthening emissions standards, not rolling them back," Ferguson said in the statement. "Despite our current public health crisis, the Trump Administration is going full steam ahead on its anti-environmental agenda. I won't allow this administration to play politics with the air we breathe."

The rollback of standards established during President Barack Obama's administration is part of President Donald Trump's efforts to reduce regulations.

The new mileage rules put in place by the Trump administration require automakers to achieve 1.5% annual increases in fuel efficiency. The Obama-era standards called for 5% annual increases and were seen as the government's most forceful initiative against climate-changing fossil fuel emissions.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday asks the court to review the actions by the EPA, the U.S. Department of Transportation Department and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that led to the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule issued in March. A coalition of environmental groups also filed a similar petition with the court.

EPA spokesperson Corry Schiermeyer called the rule a "sensible, single national program that strikes the right regulatory balance, protects our environment, and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry, while supporting our economy and the safety of American families."

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