EPA, DOT Eliminating California's Clean Air Act Exemption


The Trump White House is advancing a plan to freeze fuel-economy standards for new cars and trucks, and to escalate its fight against California's power to set regulatory standards for the entire USA auto market, according to reports from a variety of sources this week, including The Wall Street Journal and The Hill.

The Obama administration permitted California to set its own greenhouse gas emissions for cars in 2009, giving it a waiver under the Clean Air Act.

Additionally, the Trump administration will freeze federal fuel economy standards at the 2020 level, which will require vehicles to average about 35mpg.

The formal proposal is expected to drop this week.

Critics of the Obama era plan to increase average fuel economy to 54.5 mpg have called it a thinly disguised effort to force people to adopt more expensive electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, as the average is hard for automakers to achieve with a model line-up of fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

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On Tuesday, at least one industry insider said the Trump administration may stop short of fully revoking California's authority to set emissions standards and defer a decision until later. Reuters reported previously that the Transportation Department plans to assert in the proposal that California is also barred from setting emissions rules under a 1975 law.

In May, California and a group of 16 other states challenged the Trump administration's decision to reopen strict USA vehicle emissions rules for review.

California, for its part, rejects the idea that its 48-year ability to write its own tailpipe emission rules should end.

"We don't want to see two standards for the country", he added".

The most-populous US state and 16 others plus the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on May 2 seeking to block the Trump administration's effort to unravel the Obama-era emissions targets.

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Caught somewhere in the middle are automakers, who in recent months have stressed they would not support freezing the federal targets and want Washington and Sacramento to continue linking their vehicle efficiency goals.

The other attack on California comes in the form of a proposed revocation of the state's mandate that automakers sell electric vehicles. In addition, other major auto markets such as China and Europe are pressing forward with tougher mandates of their own for cleaner cars.

Because states rights are only applicable to women's reproductive health. Although the state initially used that power to regulate smog-causing pollutants, it has become a key weapon in the state's fight against climate change.

Some conservatives have long chafed at the rare authority granted California and welcome the effort to revoke.

The administration draft says the proposal would save up to 1,000 highway deaths annually by reducing the cost of new vehicles and prodding people to buy new safer cars faster, the source said. "It's nutty it's been allowed to develop". Whether California can argue that economy standards and emissions are tied will determine the overall outcome of the case.

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