A legal battle of epic proportions is brewing in California as it’s come to light that the Trump administration plans to revoke California’s long-standing right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light trucks, the Washington Post reported.
It’s part of the president’s larger plans to undermine Obama-era policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change, two senior administration officials told The Post.
California is unlikely to let it go without a fight with the federal government. It could also send automakersinto a prolonged period of uncertainty and create chaos in the nation’s auto market.
“We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a speech to the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The Trump administration’s move comes as other states have wanted to join in California’s progressive standards and push to protect the environment as the world continues to see devastating impacts of climate change.
13 states and the District of Columbia have vowed to adopt California’s standards if they diverge from the federal government’s, as have several major automakers.
California politicians and leaders are already promising a fight.
“While the White House has abdicated its responsibility to the rest of the world on cutting emissions and fighting global warming, California has stepped up,” Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom told the post. “It’s a move that could have devastating consequences for our kids’ health and the air we breathe, if California were to roll over. But we will not.”
The Post reported that the original official announcement was supposed to be Wednesday. But the announcement has now been delayed at least a day since the news was leaked on Tuesday.
A Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Friday found 66% of Americans oppose Trump’s plan to freeze fuel efficiency standards and a 67% majority say they support state governments setting stricter fuel efficiency targets than the federal government.