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Surprise, Surprise: California Promises to Fight Lowered Emissions Regulations

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Sometimes, especially lately, writing about political news can be summed up with one phrase: “The predictable has occurred.”

This past week, the predictable which occurred was President Trump’s administration rolling back the final decision on the EPA’s emissions regulations for 2022-2025. This was slightly preceded by consumer advocate groups firmly, but predictably, opposing the same.

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donald trump rally

Honestly, this was very much not a surprise
Photo: Michael Vadon

Now this week, the predictable that has occurred is that California has promised to fight rolling back emissions and fuel efficiency standards. In response to the president’s speech in Ypsilanti, the state of California has reaffirmed its commitment to enforce the tougher car pollution regulations for 2022-2025.

California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols

California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols
Photo: California Air Resources Board

Hector De La Torre, member of the state’s powerful Air Resources Board, summed it up by saying, “We are not backing down.”

CARB Chair Mary Nichols echoed the sentiments to Automotive News when she said, “We intend to stick by the commitments that we made. If for some reason the federal government and the industry decide to abandon those agreements that we all reached, we will have to re-examine our options. If the issue is are they going to relax the standards, then we would vehemently oppose that.”

In the Mean Time: Why not check out a vehicle from the EPA’s most fuel-efficient automaker?

Currently federal and California state standards are aligned, but should federal regulations be relaxed, we could end up in a situation like several years ago, where automakers would release two versions of cars: one California-compliant and one federal-compliant.

However, I think that scenario would be unlikely, as a dozen or so states currently follow California’s lead when it comes to emissions, and combined with rising emissions regulations in other major markets like Europe, I think it far more likely that automakers would simply send more trucks and SUVs to non-California-compliant states and otherwise continue using a single efficient version of their other cars.

News Source: Automotive News