Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

California's Clean Air Battle Will Be 'A Long And Messy Court Fight'

Report: Trump admin has plan to end California’s emissions standards power Trump Administration Presses Plan to Ease Fuel-Economy Standards
Doris Mccormick | 26 July, 2018, 20:10

Tom Carper of DE said the Trump administration was considering freezing the fuel standard at 2020 levels for the next five years.

"There's no question it will be litigated at every turn, and no doubt it's going to make it to the Supreme Court", with its new mix of judges, possibly including President Donald Trump's latest nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, she added.

California and 16 other states, plus the District of Columbia sued May 2 to block the Trump administration from pumping the brakes on emissions standards. Since then, EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned amid scandals within a week of meeting with California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols.

According to Reuters, the U.S. Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are expected to unveil a proposed regulation that recommends freezing national emissions requirements at 2020 levels unitl 2026, the official said on condition of anonymity because it has not yet been made public.

Messages seeking comment from OMB, NHTSA and the EPA were not immediately returned.

If Trump's plan sticks, it could be his biggest regulatory rollback yet.

On social media, some noted that Trump's attack on California's ability to regulate emissions on its own roads flies in the face of conservative arguments in favor of "states' rights"-often invoked in debates over states' ability to regulate abortion access and LGBTQ rights, as well as racial integration and slavery in the past".

Explosion reported outside US Embassy in Beijing
Photos and videos posted to social media showed a large amount of smoke surrounding the embassy compound in northeastern Beijing. The U.S. and China are in the midst of a heated trade dispute, but America remains a popular destination for Chinese tourists.


Trump mulls axing ex-officials' security clearance
On Tuesday, Ryan dismissed the idea, saying of Trump, "I think he's just trolling people, honestly". But Ryan did draw the line at Congress receiving Putin with open arms.


Cohen taped Trump discussing hush payment | Ap Wire
The president's new attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, confirmed the existence of both the conversation and the recording. In February, a White House spokesperson told ABC News , "This is an old story that is just more fake news".


Shortly after Trump's election, an auto industry lobbying group sent him a letter asking for more flexibility in the fuel-mileage program.

EPA opens the door to weakening Obama-era standards on vehicle emissions.

Critics of the Obama era plan to increase average fuel economy to 54.5 mpg have called it a thinly disguised effort to force people to adopt more expensive electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, as the average is hard for automakers to achieve with a model line-up of fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

The proposal is sure to spark a massive fight with California and a dozen other states that have adopted California's emissions rules, which would require average vehicle fuel efficiency to reach around 50 miles per gallon by 2025. However, California and environmentalists have previously criticized that analysis. The state's large population and geography contribute to serious smog problems, he said, but "when it comes to Carbon dioxide emissions, you know, California's really in the same place as anyone else".

California and other states have already fired a warning shot. State regulators also worked closely with the Obama Administration to craft federal fuel economy standards that span well into the future.

"It's an open question whether that provision (in the Clean Air Act) was meant to only deal with local pollution involving extraordinary conditions", said Sivas, who was an attorney for Earth Justice, an environmental law firm. Although California argues its rules are not fuel economy standards in word or practice, "they are very much related to fuel economy", Holmstead said.

For its part, the American Trucking Associations said that although the current Trump administration moves are targeting passenger cars, it will be keeping an eye for new developments that affect the trucking industry.

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