BMW, Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen are now the targets of a Justice Department investigation for (checks notes...) agreeing to build more fuel-efficient cars that comply with the California standard.

Today we are collectively inspired by students marching out of school to protest the devastating impact of climate change, and world’s leaders’ half-ass, small-bore, incremental approaches to reversing the damage. But even those tiny remediative measures sometimes require a hell of a fight. Earlier this week, the Guardian reported that the Trump administration was blocking California’s higher fuel-efficiency standards — standards which four major automakers had already agreed to because it represents a nice little public relations win, and, you know, it’s the right thing to do. California has been expected to sue the administration, which they have unsurprisingly done. What is surprising is that 22 other states joined the lawsuit, KRON 4 reports, to uphold California’s Supreme Court upheld waiver from the federal Clean Air Act.

"The Oval Office is really not a place for on-the-job training,” California attorney general Xavier Becerra said in a statement to ABC News. “President Trump should have at least read the instruction manual he inherited when he assumed the Presidency, in particular the chapter on respecting the Rule of Law."

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who, being a member of the Trump administration, is under investigation for corruption and self-dealing, told ABC News that “We will not let political agendas in a single state be forced upon the other 49," and that California’s higher fuel standards “were making cars more expensive and impeding safety because consumers were being priced out of newer, safer vehicles."

The higher standards, frankly, seemed like good government at work. Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW had already voluntarily agreed to the California standards that would make all of their cars get 51 miles per gallon by the year 2026. Their reward for that magnanimous move? They're being investigated by the Department of Justice in an antitrust suit.

If you’d like to know the states joining in the suit against the Trump administration, they are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Related: Supes To Consider Banning Natural Gas From City Buildings [SFist]

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