It was gratifying Friday to see 22 states join California in filing suit Friday against the Trump administrations effort to revoke the states authority to set fuel efficiency standards.
Californias foresight has helped set the nations clean energy standards for decades. The original federal waiver granted to the state in 1970 not only led to dramatic reductions in carbon emissions, but it also forced U.S. automakers to innovate and remain competitive with their foreign counterparts.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced Thursday that the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency will jointly revoke the most recent waiver the Obama administration granted to the state in 2009. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Friday that he looks forward to challenging the Trump administrations move, noting that two courts have already upheld Californias emissions standards.
Its hard to see how weakening fuel efficiency standards is in anyones best interests — other than oil companies. The Trump administrations argument that tighter fuel efficiency and tailpipe emission standards raises the price of a new car ignores the fact that the higher cost is offset by saving on fuel purchases over the life of the car.
Fifty years ago, when Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act into law, American cars, on average, got only 12 miles per gallon and spewed leaded gas into the air. The smog in California was so bad that another Republican, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, worked with a diverse group of California leaders to create the California Air Resources Board. Reagans willingness to listen to the best available science led in turn to California winning the original waiver from the federal government allowing the state to set stricter vehicle emissions standards.
The Trump administrations desire to roll back standards took a heavy hit in July when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a deal with four automakers — Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen — that will reduce tailpipe emissions from their vehicles by 3.7% a year between 2022 and 2026. California has an ambitious 2030 goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels. Reducing tailpipe emissions is a key element in meeting that goal.
Legal experts say its anybodys guess how the Supreme Court will eventually rule in the states rights case. The current court is not Read More – Source