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UPDATE 1-Boeing backs Trump airplane emissions rules challenged by U.S. states

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David Shepardson
·2 min read
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(New throughout, adds details, background, quote from Boeingfiling)

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Boeing Co on Tuesdaybacked first-ever fuel efficiency standards for new airplanesfinalized by the Trump administration in its waning days that adozen U.S. states have challenged as too lenient, and thatPresident Joe Biden's administration is reviewing.

The largest U.S. planemaker asked a U.S. appeals court inWashington for approval to intervene on behalf of theEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is being sued overits decision to finalize the first-ever standards regulatinggreenhouse gas emissions from airplanes. The plaintiffs, 12states, the District of Columbia and three environmental groups,want tougher emissions rules.

The states said last fall the EPA rule lags "existingtechnology by more than 10 years and would result in no GHGreductions at all compared to business-as-usual."

Airplanes have been the largest source of transportationgreenhouse gas emissions not subject to rules. In 2016, the U.N.International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed onglobal airplane emissions standards aimed at makers of small andlarge planes, including Airbus SE and Boeing Co, whichboth endorsed the rules.

Boeing noted the ICAO emissions standards effort began underformer President Barack Obama's administration, in which Bidenwas vice president.

The planemaker argued that it is "essential" rules "bereasonably achievable, given the billions of dollars it costs todesign, build, and certify new airplanes."

"Attempts to overturn regulation directly aligned withsuccessful cooperative international efforts to combat climatechange, supported by more than 190 countries, will onlydiscourage future international agreements," Boeing said in astatement.

The EPA declined to comment on Boeing's filing.

In January, the Trump EPA said it did not expect the rule toresult in emissions reductions and did not project it would"cause manufacturers to make technical improvements to theirairplanes that would not have occurred" otherwise.

The Environmental Defense Fund has said the EPA’s"do-nothing rule is totally inadequate in light of the climatecrisis."

The new rules apply to new-type designs as of January 2020and to in-production airplanes or those with amended typecertificates starting in 2028.

Airplanes covered by the rule account for 10% of U.S.transportation greenhouse gas emissions and 3% of total U.S.emissions.

Separately, industry group Aerospace Industries Association(AIA) in a letter released Tuesday urged the BidenAdministration "to continue to prioritize multilateralsolutions" on airplane emissions.

AIA also urged the Federal Aviation Administration todevelop regulations to allow U.S. manufacturers to certifyaircraft to the global CO2 standard. "Our industry is ready towork with the Biden Administration to improve the sustainabilityof air travel," AIA wrote.(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler andDavid Gregorio)