Feb 15, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Biden to reverse Trump-era California auto emissions rollback

Cars make their way toward downtown Los Angeles on Thursday

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Biden administration is expected to reinstate California's authority to set stricter tail pipe emissions rules as early as Wednesday, the New York Times first reported.

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

  • California is the largest auto market in the U.S., and transportation is the country's largest source of carbon dioxide, per Axios' Ben Geman.

The big picture: The reversal of the Trump-era rollback was expected and is part of President Biden's pledge to tackle the climate crisis.

  • Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson Nick Conge told CNN on Tuesday that the EPA was "working to finalize a decision on the California waiver and we expect to issue a decision in the near future."

Flashback: California and 23 other states filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in 2019 in an effort to stop the rollback.

What they're saying: "Reinstating the California waiver means that seventeen states and the District of Columbia, representing more than 120 million people and over one-third of the automotive market, can once again exercise their right to safeguard communities from transportation pollution," the nonprofit Earthjustice said in an emailed statement.

  • Representatives for the EPA did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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