WASHINGTON (AP/KTVU) - The Trump administration is proposing to roll back Obama-era mileage standards that were designed to make cars more fuel efficient and reduce pollution and California Democrats are vowing to fight back.
The administration also filed notice Thursday that it wants to revoke the authority of California and other states to set their own, stricter mileage standards - independent of federal ones.
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown responded swiftly. “For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere," he said in a statement. "Under his reckless scheme, motorists will pay more at the pump, get worse gas mileage and breathe dirtier air. California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.”
And California Attorney General Xavier Becrra also expressed his strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s proposal to weaken national greenhouse gas emission and fuel efficiency regulations at the expense of public health and the environment.
California – which is playing a world-leading role in setting aggressive climate goals and building strong coalitions of partners committed to curbing carbon pollution in both the United States and around the globe – will convene the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September. That's where representatives from governments, businesses and civil society will showcase the surge of climate action around the world, and make the case that even more must be done.
The proposal would freeze an effort by the Obama administration intended to promote auto fuel efficiency and curb tailpipe emissions of climate-changing pollutants. Those rules were to take effect after 2020.
The Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement that relaxing mileage standards in the years ahead would give "the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment."
The EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the administration supports freezing the mileage standards after 2020, but would seek public comment now on that proposal and a range of others, including leaving the tighter, Obama administration fuel standards in place.
Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, called the proposed rule "a massive pileup of bad ideas" that would increase pollution and raise fuel costs for consumers.
He said in a statement that the organization would challenge the administration's action "in the court of public opinion and the court of law."
California and 16 other states sued in the administration over the fuel efficiency standards in May, anticipating the new regulation.