Carper: New Trump Administration Lawsuit is Punitive

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement reacting to the new lawsuit filed by the Trump Administration Wednesday aimed at shutting down the State of California’s cap-and-trade market:

“This lawsuit is not about state powers or the Constitution, it’s punitive. Whether it’s happening on the West Coast or in Eastern Europe, this president is engaged in an abuse of power to punish a political enemy. This lawsuit is the latest act of retaliation against California for working with four major automakers on standards to reduce global warming pollution.”

Timeline of President Trump’s Retaliations Against California:

  • July 25, 2019: California and four automakers announce a voluntary agreement on vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.
  • August 21: President Trump tweets his criticism of the “foolish automakers” who entered into the voluntary agreement with California, saying that “California will squeeze them to the point of business ruin.”
  • Late August: DOJ launches an antitrust investigation into the four automakers who entered into the voluntary agreement with California.
  • September 18: President Trump tweets his decision to revoke California’s clean car authority. EPA and DOT acted to argue that California’s authority was preempted and to revoke it the next day. Also on September 18, the president announces that EPA would be issuing a notice of violation directed at environmental harms he blamed on California’s homeless population. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson then amplified the President’s views.
  • September 24: EPA threatens California with the potential loss of highway funding, saying that the state had the “worst air quality in the United States.”   This letter was written by EPA political officials “assigned specifically to target California” and without the knowledge of EPA’s career staff stationed in California.
  • September 26: EPA sends California a letter describing the environmental impacts it said stem from California’s homeless population, saying that “the EPA is concerned about the potential water quality impacts from pathogens and other contaminants from untreated human waste entering nearby waters.”
  • October 2: EPA sends the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission a letter giving it notice of violations of the Clean Water Act related to sewage discharge onto “beaches and other sensitive areas.”
  • October 23: The Trump Administration filed suit to shut down California’s cap-and-trade air emissions program.