Sep 20, 2019

California sues Trump over auto emissions battle

Photo: Florian Gaertner / Contributor/Getty Images

California and 23 other states filed suit against the Trump administration's plan to revoke the state's authority to set stricter tailpipe emissions rules than the rest of the country.

Why it matters: The outcome could have myriad effects, from which vehicles Americans drive years from now to the balance between state and federal power, the Washington Post notes. Automakers, some of which sided with California's stricter emissions targets, are dreading a drawn-out legal battle and being left not knowing which standards to follow.

The big picture: The suit comes as no surprise in the escalating conflict between Trump and the country's most populous state, with discord on a variety of topics from the environment to immigration.

What's next: The Environmental Protection Agency and Dept. of Transportation are expected to set new national emissions and mileage mandates for 2022-2026, which would roll back regulatory targets set by the Obama administration.

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Trump administration threatens California with highway funding cuts

Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency has sent the California Air Resources Board a letter threatening to cut federal highway funding because of air pollution issues — claiming that the state has the "worst air quality" in the U.S.

Why it matters: The letter, first reported by the Sacramento Bee, from EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler declaring that California has failed to "carry out its most basic tasks under the Clean Air Act" marks the latest in a series of battles between the Trump administration and the liberal state.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019

Trump officials likely to back off automotive regulations freeze

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Trump administration will likely endorse modest increases in vehicle mileage and emissions standards when it completes rules to weaken Obama-era mandates, multiple sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: The move, depending on the details, will likely force automakers into tough decisions about whether to endorse it.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

Fanning California's climate flames

Reproduced from Next 10's Green Innovation Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

California power giant PG&E may shut off electricity in parts of roughly 30 counties to stem risks of downed power lines sparking wildfires when strong and dry winds arrive later this week.

Why it matters: The plan announced Monday, which the San Francisco Chronicle called "unprecedented," highlights how utilities are grappling with dangers heightened by global warming.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019