California sues for right to stronger pollution standards

The Trump administration made a "demonstrable move, to assert power and dominance."

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California and nearly two dozen other states have filed suits against the Trump administration for blocking their ability to set stronger air pollution standards.

Since the 1970s, California has been allowed to set tougher rules than federal standards on auto emissions. In 2013 the Obama administration went as far as to grant California a Clean Air Act waiver allowing them to pursue stricter standards. Since then 13 other states have joined California in enacting strict rules on air quality and vehicle emissions.

But last week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration withdrew the waiver, blocking California from pursuing its own tailpipe GHB emission standard and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandates.

Critics of California’s stricter laws say that the laws are making it so the state can determine what kinds are cars are sold in the state. Tom Pyle of the American Energy Alliance claims this has “priced a lot of people out.”

“The auto industry has been, by regulation, forced to subsidize or add to the cost of the cars that people are buying,” said Pyle.

But California Governor Gavin Newsom disagrees, stating the move was a “demonstrable move, to assert power and dominance.”

California argues that the Trump administration has exceeded the authority Congress granted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those on the side of the Trump administration claim that the decision is grounded in the law and that the Obama administration’s waiver to California was unlawful.

Other states that have joined the fight are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin as well as the cities of New York, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia.

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