Sep 17, 2019

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

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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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 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 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