Los Angeles Monday joined a multistate coalition in defending a challenge to federal fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles.

In a motion, 21 states, plus the District of Columbia and Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“These vital new fuel economy standards will save us money at the pump, steer us towards more energy independence and help combat the climate crisis — the most pressing environmental issue of our time,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

The NHTSA had weakened fuel economy standards for model year 2022-26 vehicles during the Trump administration, but its new standards for model year 2024-26 vehicles increased stringency by between 8-10% annually.

Those standards were challenged by a group of 11 states led by Texas, along with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers on June 30.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued in a statement that the new rules would “saddle customers with higher-priced electric vehicles.”

The coalition claims that the new fuel economy standards are important to help protect against the impacts of consuming more fuel, which could lead to an increase in emissions.

In a statement, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said that fuel economy standards also decrease reliance on fossil fuels amid global instability and the climate crisis.

“The skyrocketing gas prices over the past few months are case in point for why more stringent fuel economy standards are necessary,” Bonta said. “The technology is there and the law is clear.”

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