Texas is now a member of a seven-state coalition seeking to intervene in an appellate court case where the Clean Air Act is at center stage.

The Lone Star State, represented by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, joins Ohio, Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Utah, and West Virginia in a motion to intervene as respondents in the case of Environmental Defense Fund v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The case involves questions of federalism and whether California can impose extra burdensome regulations on vehicle manufacturers.

“Ohio and the Intervening States seek a role in this litigation both because California’s standards elevate California’s sovereignty above other States and because those standards shape the market for regulated vehicles nationwide,” the motion reads. “The outcome of this litigation will have a direct effect on the Intervening States’ interests. In our Republic, no State is more equal than others. Allowing California alone to evade otherwise preemptive law upsets that balance, and the Intervening States have an interest in recalibrating it.”

The motion was filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals last week.

“The Clean Air Act was designed to foster cooperation between States and the federal government as we take steps to ensure our communities breathe clean, healthy air,” said Paxton in a press release. “No single State has the authority to create standards and regulations for other States, and the idea that California can legislate for the entire country clearly undermines state sovereignty. When it comes to legislation that affects all States, those States must have a voice.”

The move was made to preserve state sovereignty, Paxton contends in a fundraising email, in addition to several other objectives.

“By intervening to block California’s ability to limit and regulate emissions,” the email reads, “the Ohio and Texas coalition aims to”:

  • restore the equal status of all States,
  • lower vehicles prices,
  • improve the variety of vehicles on the market; and
  • preserve jobs tied to vehicle manufacturing.

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Toyota similarly filed a motion of their own to intervene on behalf of the Trump administration Monday.

Destin Sensky

Destin Sensky serves as a Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard covering the Texas Legislature, working to bring Texans the honest and accurate coverage they need to hold their elected officials in Austin accountable.


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