Trump is going to seek to revoke Obama era standards that gave California that power to fight smog and auto emissions.
The proposal, expected to be released this week, amounts to a frontal assault on one of former President Barack Obama’s signature regulatory programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. It also sets up a high-stakes battle over California’s unique ability to combat air pollution and, if finalized, is sure to set off a protracted courtroom battle.
As part of the effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose revoking the Clean Air Act waiver granted to California that has allowed the state to regulate carbon emissions from vehicle tailpipes and force carmakers to sell electric vehicles in the state in higher numbers, according to three people familiar with the plan. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will likewise assert that California is barred from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from autos under the 1975 law that established the first federal fuel-efficiency requirements, the people said.
This is a major policy shift. It has long been expected that Trump was going to kill Obama’s increased fuel efficiency standards, and thus do something that auto manufacturers and consumers don’t want. One of the keys to the lower gas prices that the country had during the Obama years was increased vehicle fuel efficiency. There is zero demand in the market for gas guzzlers, but Trump is going to take America back to the 1950s no matter what the marketplace and the American people want.
California has been expecting this move from Trump and officials have been preparing for long legal battle since he took office. Donald Trump literally wants to poison the people of California, not for any good policy reason, but because he views the destruction of the Obama legacy as the mandate for his presidency.
Trump is going to go to court, and if recent history is any sort of guide, he will lose.
Californians take pride in their clean air, and they are not about to let Donald Trump wreck their environment without a brutal legal fight.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association