Sep 17, 2019

EPA to roll back California's power to enforce strict auto emissions standards

California highway traffic

California traffic. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce on Wednesday that it will end an Obama administration rule that allowed California to establish strict auto pollution standards on new cars and light trucks, per anonymous sources familiar with the issue, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: This move is likely to spark a legal battle between the state and the Trump administration. The administration is currently working to settle federal fuel economy and emissions regulations for model year 2021 cars and beyond.

What they're saying: The EPA did not immediately provide comment to Axios, but administrator Andrew Wheeler delivered prepared remarks Tuesday at the National Automobile Dealers Association, in which he warned that the agency would take joint action with the Department of Transportation "to bring clarity to the proper — and improper — scope and use of the Clean Air Act preemption waiver."

  • California has promised to fight any attempt to revoke its waiver. The state argues that the law does not allow the EPA to withdraw waivers after they are issued, Politico reports.
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