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What Trump’s Auto Emissions Plan Means for California

What Trump’s Auto Emissions Plan Means for California

The Trump administration proposed weakening Obama-era federal fuel efficiency standards yesterday and moved to revoke California's authority to set its own strict tailpipe emissions rules, setting up what will likely be a protracted legal battle between the federal government and USA states. Twelve other states have adopted California's efficiency standards for gas-powered vehicles, while nine others have similar policies for zero-emission vehicles.

The Clean Air Act lists California as the only state that can diverge from the national standards, through waivers that the federal government must grant in most circumstances. The states that have adopted California's emission rules together make up about one third of the U.S. auto market.

The full EPA/NHTSA proposal and California's response are available online.

Looking for negotiations with California to begin, Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a statement, "We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America's drivers".

"California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible", Governor Edmund Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement. "The California Department of Justice will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today's national standards and reaffirm the facts and science behind them".

The administration also wants to revoke the authority of California and other states to set their own, stricter mileage standards — independent of federal ones.

Transportation is now the biggest source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

The only way to lower Carbon dioxide emissions from cars is to reduce the actual amount of fuel burned - it can not be easily filtered out or reduced like other pollutants.

However, his administration's report on Thursday projects that relaxing mileage standards would cost 60,000 auto jobs by 2030.

The Obama administration's answer was a unified fuel economy and emissions regimen worked out among the California regulators, the EPA, which regulates emissions, and NHTSA, which regulates fuel economy.

So, the Trump administration must repeal the waiver to fully rollback the Obama-era rules. The result, opponents say, will be dirtier air and more pollution-related illness and death.

Many top California officials, however, blasted the plan.

"California is about progress and 21st century technology ... not about backsliding", Becerra said on the campus of UCLA.

Conservatives hold that the Trump administration's rule change is for the best.

Trump's move concerns a deal originally struck between Obama and many leading automakers in 2011 that envisioned a series of gradual increases through 2025, when average fuel economy would rise to 54.5 miles per gallon. In 2012 the agencies extended the program to model years 2017-2025 vehicles.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Thursday vowed to fight the Trump administration's newly released fuel economy plan, which would freeze current miles-per-gallon standards at 2020 levels through 2025, rolling back some clean air standards put in place by the Obama administration.

"It's still a very aggressive program".

The former Governor also said that he was exhausted of the fake conservatives who believe in the state's right to make their own policies- as long as state policy is to pollute more.

He said gas prices are "at historically low levels and that changes driving habits, that changes the kind of cars and trucks that people want to buy". The administration said the proposed plan will prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries. They also argued the standards "implemented by the previous administration raised the cost and decreased the supply of newer, safer vehicles", and that removing the standards would save lives.

"We can have our cake and eat it too", he said.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement that the administration's proposal to freeze m.p.g. standards after 2020 strikes "the right regulatory balance" between cost, safety and environmental concerns. She thought it unlikely that consumers wouldn't spend money if a auto was demonstrably safer. CARB will examine all 978 pages of fine print to figure out how the Administration can possibly justify its absurd conclusion that weakening standards to allow dirtier, less efficient vehicles will actually save lives and money.

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