Scott Pruitt’s Glider Kit Rule Rollback Gains 16 New Enemies Among State Governments
So, remember how Scott Pruitt left the office of the director of the Environmental Protection Agency amid a furious hurricane of controversy and accusations of misconduct and ethics violations? Well, before he left, one of the things he did was to order the EPA not to enforce Obama-era rules that limited sales of “glider kits.” It seems that a large number of states are really peeved at this, and are asking the courts to weigh in.
The Court Request
Attorneys general from 16 states joined a request to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review that decision. Three major environmental groups originally submitted the measure, and the court agreed on July 18 to issue a block on Pruitt’s order until they looked into it.
The attorneys general are essentially arguing that Pruitt isn’t allowed to just say “I don’t like that order, so we won’t actually enforce it,” especially since he didn’t offer any real science to support it and flew in the face of EPA policy up to now.
Glider Kit Background
Let’s recap. Glider kits are new semi truck bodies and frames with old, pre-emissions-control diesel engines under the hood. They pollute far beyond anything a modern engine puts out, with some studies finding they put out 43 times as much cancer-causing particles and 13 times as much smog-forming nitrogen oxide.
People are allowed to sell them using a loophole in EPA rules, originally meant to let people get a glider kit if they crashed a semi with a newer engine so they didn’t have to replace the whole truck. The Obama-era EPA limited the sales to 300 per company, because companies were exploiting the rule to sell something like 3,000 kits per year.
Pruitt killed the rule basically by claiming the EPA couldn’t regulate glider kits because they weren’t new vehicles. He also cited a study that said that gliders don’t pollute more than new trucks. However, that study was funded by the nation’s largest glider kit manufacturer, and was so bad in its various ways that the University that put it out shot it down.
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Overall, now state governments across the nation, environmental groups, EPA watchdogs, and even truck manufacturers like Polestar and Volvo all loudly oppose Pruitt’s move. We will see if the courts agree when the Court of Appeals rules at the end of the month.
The states joining the fight against Pruitt’s parting order are California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington, with the District of Columbia thrown in for good measure.