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Trump Admin To Crack Down on California’s Strict Auto Emission Rules

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The Trump administration is expected to revoke California’s legal authority to set auto pollution rules stricter than those of the federal government.

The move is expected to come on Wednesday while the president is traveling in the state, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The announcement will come from the Washington headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency, although the EPA itself did not respond to The Times’ request for comment.

The move is not unexpected as President Donald Trump’s new-look EPA has been forthcoming in its desire to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations, specifically fuel economy standards.

The policy itself will also revoke California’s legal authority to impose its own, tougher regulations on automakers.

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The waiver was initially granted to California under the 1970 Clean Air Act, a landmark piece of federal environmental regulation due to its existing pollution laws.

Thirteen states have since followed suit, so Trump’s new plan to crack down on strict regulations would be of national significance.

Trump’s overall auto-emissions policy has seen some legal resistance from the left and this new revocation is just a piece of the larger picture.

While the administration works to prepare legal defenses of other measures, it has reportedly decided to go through with the act that is most obviously defensible.

Should Trump weaken environmental regulations?

The main laws that the administration looks to counter are the Obama-era pollution regulations that would require automakers to build vehicles with an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Trump’s proposed revision would lower the mileage requirement to 37 but obviously will not prevent producers from building vehicles that comply with the Obama-era standards.

The administration is working to quickly push through as many policies as possible, due to the chance that a Democrat could be elected president in 2020. It is highly unlikely that any Democratic administration would continue any legal battle that happened to be ongoing.

In the meantime, the current administration is keen on loosening laws that affect not only consumers but producers.

Not all automakers, however, are willing to take advantage of the new freedom.

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Some have even signed a deal with California pledging to abide by its tighter emission standards, regardless of whether or not they are legally obligated to do so.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement that this plan was part of a “political vendetta” against California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“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 — we will fight this latest attempt and defend our clean car standards,” he said.

California will undoubtedly defend its current laws, as attorney general Xavier Becerra told The Times.

“California will continue its advance toward a cleaner future,” he said. “We’re prepared to defend the standards that make that promise a reality.”

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