California and Trump Administration’s Next Fight Could Be Over Vehicle Emission Standards

SACRAMENTO -- California is prepared to clash with the Trump administration after the president said the state's ability to set vehicle emission standards was revoked.

A federal waiver in 2013 gave California the ability to set its own vehicle emission standards.

“The EPA has sometimes stalled, we’ve sometimes had to push, we once went to court, but we have never had a situation where there was suddenly a change of mind about what to do,” Mary Nichols, the California Air Resources Board Chairwoman, said.

The current standards are necessary for public health and welfare, says Nichols.

Revoking the vehicle emissions waiver is meant to lower car prices while making them safer, claimed President Donald Trump in a series of tweets.

According to Governor Gavin Newsom, automakers are already on board with the stricter standards.

“It begs the question: Mr. Trump, what and who is this for,” Newsom said. “The companies, the automobile manufacturers don’t want it.”

If the waiver is revoked it could have serious consequences for Californians.

“Millions of people in California and other states that follow our standards will be breathing dirtier air,” Nichols said. “They will suffer from more pollution, more asthma cases, more hospitalizations, more premature deaths.”

The waiver hasn’t been officially revoked yet, but Attorney General Xavier Becerra is prepared.

“We cannot afford to backslide in our battle against climate change,” Becerra said.

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