Sep 18, 2019

Trump vs. California

Air Force One touches down at LAX. Photo: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

President Trump today plans to revoke California’s landmark emissions standards, setting up another sweeping legal fight with the nation’s largest state that may echo beyond his presidency. 

Why it matters: Trump is at war with California over the environment, homelessness, tax returns, immigration and virtually every topic he touches. The courts are almost always center stage.

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) — who earlier this year told "Axios on HBO" that Trump is helping turn the GOP into a dying, xenophobic party — accused the president of a "political vendetta" with his latest move. 

This could snuff out any hope automakers had of avoiding a bitter legal fight between the administration and California, Axios' Ben Geman writes.

  • "This will be the biggest fight in environmental law since the Clean Power Plan. Maybe bigger," tweeted Nathan Richardson of the University of South Carolina School of Law.

The backdrop: Trump, who spent the night in L.A., kicked off a Golden State moneymaking swing yesterday with a $3 million Bay Area luncheon, followed by a $5 million Beverly Hills dinner at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, per AP.

  • Trump will bring in $7 million today with a breakfast in L.A. and luncheon in San Diego, before he visits the border wall.

The bottom line: The landscape on California issues would shift overnight if a Democrat wins the White House — but Trump rightly sees the state as unwinnable.

Go deeper: California plays by its own rules

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Trump moves to block California from setting own auto emissions rules

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The battle between the Trump administration and California over vehicle carbon emissions and mileage is getting hotter.

The latest: Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday that the EPA will revoke California's waiver under the Clean Air Act that enables the state to set CO2 emissions rules that exceed federal standards.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 18, 2019

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: EPA to hit San Francisco with violations notice over homeless crisis

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday night that the Environmental Protection Agency will issue a notice to San Francisco declaring it has committed environmental violations because of its homeless crisis.

Details: Per pool reporter Peter Baker, Trump said the EPA would serve the city of San Francisco with a notice because there was "tremendous" pollution flowing into the ocean because of waste in storm sewers, specifically citing used needles. 

Go deeperArrowSep 19, 2019