Thursday the Trump Administration announced a proposal to relax standards on car pollution. The proposal released jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation would amend fuel efficiency and emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks covering model years 2021 through 2026. The proposal also revokes a waiver for California that is now followed by a number of other states as well to let those states set more stringent pollution standards than the federal government.
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued a joint statement asserting that the Obama Administration rules raised costs and decreased the supply of newer, safer vehicles. According to the New York Times, the Obama Administration’s analysis of the same rule found that improving fuel-economy standards would actually lead to fewer car related casualties.
California Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement responding to the new proposal. “For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere. Under his reckless scheme, motorists will pay more at the pump, get worse gas mileage and breathe dirtier air. California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.”
In May, Governor Brown announced that California is leading an 18-jurisdiction coalition – representing 43 percent of the U.S. automobile market – to sue the EPA to preserve the nations’ single vehicle emission standard. The lawsuit alleges that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously without evidence to support the decision to reverse the clean air act standards.
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