Trump wants your car to pollute freely
This week, the Trump administration is allegedly set to annul the authority of California and 17 U.S. states to set stricter climate change-fighting emission measures than the Clean Air Act by revoking their Obama-era waivers, as reported by Bloomberg today.
For more than a decade, California has served as a trailblazer in enacting policies to combat climate change. Thanks to the size and influence of the state, its regulations have pushed car manufactures to meet higher standards internationally. In 2002, California became the first state to introduce greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and trucks. After it was granted a Clean Air Act Waiver in 2009, the state went a step further by enacting Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which set a legal mandate to reduce fuel emissions by 10 percent by 2020.
This move from the Trump administration doesn’t come out of nowhere. Back in April, Scott Pruitt’s evaluation of car and vehicle emissions sought to revoke Clean Air act waivers for all 17 U.S. states that have them, including California. These states filed a lawsuit in May in response to the move. Back in April, Scott Pruitt’s evaluation of car and vehicle emissions sought to revoke Clean Air act waivers for all 17 U.S. states that have them, including California. These states filed a lawsuit in May in response to the move. Pruitt may have resigned earlier this month, but his replacement, Andrew Wheeler, is a climate change denier and former lobbyist for the coal industry.
Trump has personally slashed U.S. funding toward global climate change efforts. He’s also vowed to not abide by the U.S.’s end of the deal in the Paris Climate Accord — the world’s most significant, if still inadequate, climate agreement to date. In the wake of this announcement, stricter policies from individual U.S. states have been the best chance for the U.S. — the largest per capita emitter in the world — to reduce its contributions to climate change.
Currently, vehicles are the single largest source of greenhosue gas pollution in the U.S.. Without the legal tools for some of America’s most populous states to fight for lower emissions, it’s pretty much inevitable that greenhouse gas pollution will soar.