Trump to Seek Repeal of California's Smog-Fighting Power

Report: Trump admin has plan to end California’s emissions standards power

Report: Trump admin has plan to end California’s emissions standards power

So, if you're like us, you probably figured that the Trump administration's attack on federal fuel economy guidelines and California's right to set its own vehicle emissions standards went the way of the buffalo when Scott Pruitt got kicked to the curb, but we were wrong.

The Trump Adminstration announced plans this week to force California and other CARB-compliant states to roll back emissions standards.

The formal proposal is expected to drop this week.

"They'll give themselves the option of then revoking the California waiver in the future", said Holmstead, a partner with the Bracewell law firm in D.C. "It's a dumb move for an administration that claims it wants peace, because this will lead to an emissions war: progressive states versus a reactionary federal government".

The move is expected as early as Thursday and will propose revoking California's power to set state vehicle emissions rules and mandate the purchase of electric vehicles, a government official briefed on the matter said and was reported by Reuters.

Special provisions in the federal Clean Air Act allow states to either follow the federal requirements or adopt California's vehicle emission regulations.

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California officials have long said they will sue if the Environmental Protection Agency makes good on the threat.

Eliminating California's electric vehicle mandate would hurt automakers like Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and General Motors Co (GM.N) that are investing billions in EVs.

The proposal is sure to spark a massive fight with California and a dozen other states that have adopted California's emissions rules, which would require average vehicle fuel efficiency to reach around 50 miles per gallon by 2025. That authority would also be revoked with the Trump administration's action.

Shortly after Trump's election, an auto industry lobbying group sent him a letter asking for more flexibility in the fuel-mileage program. After the Obama administration bailed out much of the USA auto industry immediately after the 2008 recession, it pressured automakers to agree to a 2011 plan to increase fuel efficiency by 2025, to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon. The state's large population and geography contribute to serious smog problems, he said, but "when it comes to Carbon dioxide emissions, you know, California's really in the same place as anyone else". California and automakers agreed to the rules in 2012, setting a single national fuel economy standard.

"It's an open question whether that provision (in the Clean Air Act) was meant to only deal with local pollution involving extraordinary conditions", said Sivas, who was an attorney for Earth Justice, an environmental law firm. In May, California, 16 other states and the District of Columbia filed a federal suit aiming to preserve fuel economy standards expected to produce cleaner cars of the next decade.

NHTSA will likely assert that California no longer can impose its own greenhouse gas emissions from autos under the 1975 law that established the first federal fuel-efficiency requirements.

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