A court ruled Monday that the Trump administration cannot delay an Obama-era rule forcing automakers to pay higher fines for vehicles that violate fuel efficiency standards.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned a 2017 Department of Transportation (DOT) action delaying higher fees under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. The court did not explain its rationale.

One of President Donald Trump’s chief opponents praised the three-panel court’s ruling.

“Today’s court order is a big win for New Yorkers’ and all Americans’ health and environment,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday in a statement about the court’s decision. He and other environmentalists believe the DOT does not have authority to indefinitely delay the rule.

“As we’ve proven again and again, when the Trump administration puts special interests before public health and our environment, we’ll take them to court — and we will win,” said Schneiderman, a Democrat who has slowly pushed New York’s attorney general office into a political weapon.

Automaker groups argue the fees would cost the industry more than $1 billion, and that falling fuel costs are making it harder for companies to sell enough efficient cars to meet the standards. The DOT agreed to hold up the penalty until the administration can review the rule.

The DOT’s National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration increased automakers’ fines under CAFE to $14 from $5.50 for each 0.1 mile per gallon exceeds the standards.

The Obama-era rules required cars to get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Officials estimated the rules would cut 540 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and save consumers money.

This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller


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