Published: Thu, September 19, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

California's Fuel Mileage Standards, Revoked

California's Fuel Mileage Standards, Revoked

The Trump administration will take steps to try to block California from setting its own vehicle emissions standards, the head of the U.S. environmental regulator has said, as the row between the federal government and the state over green regulations intensifies.

Thad Kousser, who chairs the political science department at UC San Diego, said the visit gives Trump an opportunity to reach a national audience from inside California - his biggest political nemesis.

In a 2018 internal memo, William Charmley, the director of assessments and standards for Trump's own EPA, reported that the roll back in admissions standards might actually increase annual deaths in auto accidents.

Trump's claim that his proposal would result in a cleaner environment is contrary to his own administration's estimate that by freezing economy standards USA fuel consumption would increase by about 500,000 barrels per day, a 2% to 3% increase. You can't get serious about climate change unless you're serious about vehicle emissions. "So we need to do something", said Carson, who recently toured a public housing project in San Francisco. The White House declined to comment.

Trump argued that the rollback could create "significantly more jobs", but automakers anxious that without a substantial increase in fuel efficiency, their vehicles would be less competitive globally, which could potentially cause job losses.

California wants 15.4% of vehicle sales by 2025 to be EVs or other zero-emission vehicles and 10 other states have adopted those requirements.

Later, he threatened to sic the Environmental Protection Agency on San Francisco over its homeless population, accusing the city of allowing a tremendous amount of waste, including needles, to go through storm drains into the ocean.

President Trump said Tuesday he can not let California cities continue to "destroy themselves" by failing to adequately address homelessness, as state and local officials look reluctantly to the federal government for help in combating the ongoing housing crisis within the nation's most populated state.

For Trump, that all smells like weakness, and he wants little to do with a "loser", Dan Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, tells The Washington Post.

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The Golden State's rules have largely become the de-facto benchmark nationwide because auto manufacturers do not design different sets of vehicles to meet different standards in different states. Once that waiver existed, 12 states and the District of Columbia also opted-in to use the California standards.

The fight over California's right to set its own motor vehicle emission standards is part of a long-running rebuke by the administration of former President Barack Obama's pursuit of stricter emission standards.Trump lost the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton by a 30 percent margin in 2016.

"Our leaders made sure that when the Clean Air Act was passed it didn't make Californians settle for lower air quality standards than the ones we used to beat back smog", said Mike Sweeney, executive director for the Nature Conservancy's California chapter, in a statement.

California governor Gavin Newsom, centre, with the state's attorney general Xavier Becerra and air resources board chair Mary Nichols, responds to the president's announcement. Trump also has sought to relax Obama-era federal mileage standards nationwide, weakening a key effort by his Democratic predecessor to slow climate change.

Carson said the president wants to look at a range of different options, including policing and mental health.

The move is set to spark off a major court battle between the federal government and California.

Carson said almost 500,000 California households already receive some kind of federal housing assistance and said "federal taxpayers are clearly doing their part to help solve the crisis".

It's a critical fight for the world, because every auto maker selling to the United States has been meeting California's low-pollution standards, which has made America's overall vehicle emissions much lower than they would otherwise be.

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