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Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

President Trump Set to Revoke California’s Authority to Set its Own Auto Emissions Standards

Gov. Newsom: ‘The President could learn from California’

By Katy Grimes, September 17, 2019 4:13 pm

President Donald Trump is expected to revoke a rule that allowed California to set its own tougher vehicle emissions standards than those required by the federal government. California has relied on this special waiver for decades.

This triggered an announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“California won’t ever wait for permission from Washington to protect the health and safety of children and families,” the Governor said in a press statement. “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. In July, we came to landmark voluntary agreements with four major automakers to reduce vehicle emissions and oppose Washington’s rollback of clean air standards. We are showing it can be done.”

This isn’t breaking news.

In May, California Globe reported “California’s top environmental regulator, California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, has stepped up the state’s war against the Trump Administration, as well as the state’s residents by threatening to enact drastic, new pollution rules — including a ban on internal combustion-engine cars, in response to the Trump EPA plan to go back to pre-Obama vehicle emission standards.”

Nichols said California is forced to pursue “extreme” requirements to offset the anticipated pollution increases she says would be unleashed if federal vehicle emission and fuel economy standards are weakened – ignoring that all cars are greener today thanks to significant advances in technology.

What is really going on with CARB is a continuation of their regulatory onslaught aimed at California’s oil and gas industry. While California politicians and CARB push electric cars, they are only as clean as their electric power supply, which is primarily coal, the second-largest energy source for U.S. electricity generation in 2018.

The EPA and CARB officials insist their goals are the protection of the most vulnerable in society. It’s difficult to believe the EPA and the CARB are sincere when the EPA conducted diesel exhaust experiments on children at UCLA and USC, I wrote in 2015. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency paid the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles to conduct experiments on children, to determine whether exposure to diesel exhaust harms humans.

These experiments were illegal under the Nuremberg Code, California state law, and federal regulations, concerning the protection of human subjects in medical research.

The Trump administration and CARB officials attempted to meet in the Spring, and come to agreement on emissions standards, but failed to do so.

The Trump administration’s proposal to get rid of California’s auto emissions standards would also serve revoke the stringent environmental auto  emissions regulations put in place under President Obama which required car manufacturers to build vehicles that would average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

Last June, seventeen big automakers, including General Motors, Ford, BMW and Toyota, wrote a letter claiming that the Trump administration’s plans roll back emissions and fuel efficiency standards would hurt their bottom lines and could produce “untenable” instability.

But these same auto makers also balked at the Obama-era vehicle regulations.

“The President could learn from California. Instead, reports today suggest that his Administration will act on a political vendetta by announcing they intend to end aspects of our clean car waiver,” Gov. Newsom said. “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. California, global markets, and Mother Nature will prevail.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, with 52 lawsuits currently filed against the Trump administration, vowed to fight back again on the latest regulatory rollback. “California will continue its advance toward a cleaner future,” Becerra said in a statement Tuesday. “We’re prepared to defend the standards that make that promise a reality.”

Thirteen states—mostly in the Northeast and Northwest—and the District of Columbia have adopted California’s stricter emissions standards, many of which also participate in the zero-emission vehicle mandate, according to Green Car Reports. “Known as ‘Section 177’ states, those 13 are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Arizona adopted California’s standards in 2008, but the state repealed them as soon as Governor Jan Brewer took office in January 2012.”

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