- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 18, 2019

President Trump on Wednesday said his administration will revoke California’s authority to set automobile emissions standards, saying a federal benchmark should take precedence.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Trump said his forthcoming standard will result in cheaper vehicles.

“The Trump administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER,” he tweeted.

He said his own standards would still allow for “extremely environmentally friendly cars.”

Mr. Trump tweeted the news ahead of an anticipated announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” Mr. Trump wrote.

The president said there will be “very little difference in emissions” between the California standard and the new U.S. standard, which is part of Mr. Trump’s push to roll back Obama-era regulations.

California is allowed to set its own tougher emissions standards under a waiver given it by Congress when it passed the Clean Air Act in 1970.

The decision could have wide reverberations — 12 states and the District of Columbia follow California’s lead in setting standards — and it could set the stage for a pivotal court battle over states’ abilities to regulate greenhouse gas emissions released from tailpipes.

Democrats called Mr. Trump’s decision absurd.

Automakers Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW voluntarily agreed to increase fuel efficiency and cut emissions in a bid to combat climate change, they said, so Mr. Trump is effectively asked them to pollute more.

“In the Trump era, we are frequently confronted with the absurd — this is beyond ridiculous,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “This president is the leader of the self-proclaimed party of states’ rights, yet he’s blocking states from setting their own standards. This president has repeated that ‘we have the cleanest air, the cleanest water,’ almost like a mantra, yet he’s trying to prevent California and other states from cleaning up their air pollution.”

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