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Trump administration may strip California of its power to regulate car emissions

Trump administration may strip California of its power to regulate car emissions
[Photo: Austin Poon/Unsplash]

Since taking office, the Trump administration has seemed determined to reverse every environmental regulation that President Obama put in place, from clean air to clean water and everything in between.

So when California teamed up with four major car manufacturers to set emissions standards that meet or exceed the clean-air guidelines set by the Obama administration, Trump was left *ahem* fuming. Now, not only is the Justice Department reportedly mulling over whether the decision to adopt state emissions standards violated antitrust law, but according to Reuters, it is looking into revoking California’s authority to set its own vehicle greenhouse gas standards entirely.

Trump reportedly met with senior officials on Thursday to discuss a plan to revoke California’s power to set its own emission standards, which have been stricter than federal regulations since 2013, when it was granted a waiver under the Obama administration’s Clean Air Act. When Trump proposed rolling back the rule, California vowed to keep its emissions standards strict, and it got Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, and Honda to agree to meet its emission targets.

Now, Reuters’ sources said the Trump administration will move ahead in coming weeks with its plan to remove the powers from California before issuing new federal standards. Since Republicans traditionally claim to be big proponents of states’ rights, this is a bold move in many ways.

Increasingly, Trump’s determination to erase all of the environmental targets put in place by Obama has put him on the opposite side of business leaders, including the four auto manufacturers who agreed to California’s rules (at least publicly), but also the oil and gas industry fighting to keep methane out of the air.

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