Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

California Air Board Pushes Back on Trump Plan to Lower Emissions Standards

Politics
San Francisco Ferry Building on Embarcadero taken over by smog of nearby wildfires on July 1, 2018. Getty Images

As it battles the largest wildfire in its history, California is also fighting the Trump administration's attempt to roll back one of former President Barack Obama's most important climate change policies.


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a proposal Tuesday that serves as an official rebuke to a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that would cap vehicle emissions standards at 2020 levels and revoke California's waiver under the Clean Air Act to set its own standards, The Sacramento Bee reported.

CARB's proposal mandates that all new vehicles sold in the state must meet its higher standards, even if the federal government lowers them at the national level.

"We're going to do everything we must do to continue to move forward rather than backslide," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told The New York Times. "We have fires raging, hundreds of thousands of acres burning. We saw devastating flooding and mudslides six, seven months ago. We see the havoc that climate change brings to the environment, and the last thing we need to do is to close our eyes to it," he said.

During the Obama administration, the federal government, the auto industry and California agreed to an emissions reduction timeline that would see fuel efficiency requirements increase from around 36 miles per gallon to around 54 miles per gallon by 2025, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The Trump administration had long eyed that schedule for the chopping block, and unveiled an official proposal axing it Aug. 2.

"California will take all actions to ensure that the smart standards we developed in partnership with the auto industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles stay in place," CARB chairwoman Mary Nichols told The Sacramento Bee.

Thirteen other states also follow or are set to follow California's stricter standards, representing more than one third of the country's auto market, according to The New York Times.

The auto industry initially pushed the Trump administration to lower standards, but is now concerned about making cars for two separate domestic markets.

"We are urging the regulators to work together and find a pathway forward," Gloria Bergquist of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers told The Sacramento Bee.

The concern has led to some mixed messages from the Alliance, the industry's largest lobby group.

On Monday, it tweeted a Brooking's Institute opinion piece titled "The Trump administration's fuel-efficiency proposal is unnecessary and harmful," The New York Times reported.

By Tuesday, the tweet had been deleted. Bergquist told The New York Times it was a "mistake," though the alliance agreed with some of its points.

California has said it is willing to tweak the program, but that the main emissions targets themselves, and the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, must remain in place, The New York Times reported.

CARB will vote on its proposal Sept. 27, The Sacramento Bee reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less
A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less
Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

Read More Show Less
Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular. Colin Dunn / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Julia Vergin

It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Data from a scientist measuring macroalgal communities in rocky shores in the Argentinean Patagonia would be added to the new system. Patricia Miloslavich / University of Delaware

Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.

EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.

Read More Show Less