President Donald Trump intends on revoking the rule that allows California to set tougher car emissions standards than those required by the federal government, the Los Angeles Times reports.
For decades, the state of California has relied on a special waiver that allows it to set its own emissions standards in a bid to establish itself as a state environmental leader in the U.S. If President Trump’s move is put into effect, it will impact not only California, but 13 other states and the District of Columbia that follows its emissions regulations as well.
“It’s a move that could have devastating consequences for our kids’ health and the air we breathe if California were to roll over,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said. “But we will not — we will fight this latest attempt and defend our clean car standards.”
Democratic member of the Congress have vowed to try to block the administration’s move, with one member of the House committee that oversees the EPA planning to seek legislation to keep the state’s authority intact.
California state officials enacted its own car emissions controls back in the 1960s, when Los Angeles was enveloped in a thick layer of smog. The federal government later decided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would set vehicle pollution standards for the nation and carved out an exception for California, allowing it to set its own rules as long as they were at least as strict as those imposed by the federal government. Other states in the U.S. can choose to follow California’s regulations or the federal ones set by the EPA.
Just a few months ago, California struck a deal with Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW that will see the carmakers abide by California’s rules and increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions despite Trump trying to have pollution standards rolled back.