Arnold Schwarzenegger Says States Rights Logic Applies to Pro-Environment States Too

We are used to the spectacle of Red States suing the EPA claiming states rights as they argue against emissions limits, and as Huffington Post notes of Trump’s EPA pick Scott Pruitt, “As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt has sued the EPA over environmental regulations at least 13 times, in many cases claiming states’ rights.”

Republicans brag up Pruitt’s “staunch” support of states rights yet when Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) asked Pruitt if he would keep in place a federal waiver that lets California set its own standards, Pruitt would not commit, saying, ominously,

“I don’t know without going through the process to determine that. One would not want to presume the outcome.”

If Pruitt really champions states rights, the answer should have been a no-brainer.

Given that other states are allowed to adopt California’s standards, and have, this is not the case of just one state being victimized by Pruitt’s anti-environmental stance. Enter Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, who as governor of California supported tough standards for auto emissions.

The governator tweeted,

Republicans like to call environmental science “junk science,” but Schwarzenegger throws it back at them by calling Pruitt’s hypocrisy “junk logic”:

According to Pruitt’s logic as Oklahoma’s attorney general, if not as EPA chief,

“There are substantive requirements, obligations, authority, jurisdiction granted to the states under our environmental statutes. That needs to be respected.”

If that logic were to hold, the same would apply to states supporting the EPA’s previous standards. There is not a chance Pruitt would agree to that now, and Schwarzenegger is right to call attention to that fact. He is not alone: California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom pointed out,

There are more than a dozen states following California’s standards and as the Environmental Defense Fund explains, these states “represent approximately one quarter of the U.S. vehicle fleet and vehicle miles traveled.”

As Cory Booker said to Pruitt, “Your record is not states rights, it’s deregulation and siding with industry.”

There are significant fights ahead on a number of different fronts. It is ironic that our defense on the left should now be states rights, but that is where we are at with Republicans in full control of the federal government.

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