Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Trump Administration Seeks to Take Away California's Rights to Set Fuel Standards

Los Angeles air pollution in 1973. Click for photo credit.
As was noted in several recent posts on this blog (here, here, and here), the Trump administration is seeking to relax fuel standards for vehicles while also taking away California's special rights granted in the Clean Air Act to set its own vehicle standards due to its unique geography and air pollution problems. According to the New York Times, the administration is focused like a laser on trying to due away with California's ability to set standards.

This doesn't make any sense for three main reasons. First, we are in a climate emergency and we should be looking at ways to reduce greenhouse gases, not increase them. Second, greenhouse gases are not the only pollutant released. The roll back will increase air pollution throughout the state (and the rest of the U.S.) leading to more health problems. Third, car manufacturers don't want to roll back the emissions standards. Many Fortune 500 companies now recognize the special responsibilities they have to the environment and are trying to find ways to improve the environment and enhance sustainability.

I am certain that this will end up in court and waste lots of smart people's time. In the mean time, if the polls are correct, there will be a new president in 2020 who will drop this foolish endeavor.

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