Apr 26, 2021 - Energy & Environment

EPA set to hand back power to California to regulate auto emissions

Cars make their way toward downtown L.A. during the morning commute on April 22, 2021 in Los Angeles

Cars make their way toward downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, when President Joe Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 . Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday signaled its intention to rescind Trump-era policies blocking California from setting its own vehicle carbon emissions rules.

Why it matters: The move would restore California's ability to be an environmental regulator after former President Trump stripped the state of that right.

For the record: The reversal of the rule is part of President Biden's pledge to tackle the climate crisis and will be finalized with public input in the next few months.

  • Trump claimed in 2019 there would be little impact on emissions with the changes, which he said he brought in for costs and jobs reasons.

What they're saying: EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement he's a "firm believer in California's long-standing statutory authority to lead."

  • "The 2019 decision to revoke the state's waiver to enforce its greenhouse gas pollution standards for cars and trucks was legally dubious and an attack on the public’s health and wellbeing," he said.

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