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

Trump admin reportedly plans to block California from implementing its own environmental regulations

Trump admin reportedly plans to block California from implementing its own environmental regulations

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 US auto market, according to reports from a variety of sources this week, including The Wall Street Journal and The Hill.

The new rules, which could be released as early as this week, would halt plans to keep raising requirements for efficiency.

The Trump administration's EPA has spent the past year and a half laying the groundwork to roll back emissions standards that were finalized by the Obama administration's EPA during President Obama's final month in office, although the rules had been years in the making.

"Honda continues to support one national program that aligns the regulations of EPA, NHTSA and California", said Robert J. Bienenfeld, associate vice president of regulatory policy for American Honda Motor Company.

California and other states have big stakes in Trump's decision and subsequent litigation, as do US and foreign automakers.

California is certain to file a lawsuit to defend its ability to set its own fuel and emissions standards.

The proposal is still under review, but the core elements aren't expected to change, the sources said.

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Since rumors of the action by the Trump administration stated circling on July 18, the market capitalization of electric vehicle leader Tesla, Inc. has fallen by about $4.7 billion. 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.

In addition, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont subsequently joined California in adopting mandatory zero emission vehicle (ZEV) quotas in 2011, according to Automotive News.

President Trump is allegedly planning on going toe-to-toe with California over its emissions waiver and its EV sales mandate. They could also revoke California's ability to set its own, tougher, air pollution limits.

The federal government could also argue that the 1975 statute that governs automobile efficiency - the Corporate Average Fuel Economy law - pre-empts California from setting its own fuel economy standards.

California will fight the rules change, according to Dan Sperling of the state's Air Resources Board. He says in the early '70s, California and 12 other states received waivers to set their own emissions standards, and this agreement was updated during the last decade. Although California argues its rules are not fuel economy standards in word or practice, "they are very much related to fuel economy", Holmstead said. "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".

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

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