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Brand new cars sit in a lot at the Auto Warehousing Company near the Port of Richmond on May 24, 2018 in Richmond, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The fight between the Trump administration and the state of California over fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks has now turned into an auto-industry civil war.

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The Paradise Fossil Plant in Kentucky. Coal-fired power plants are a major source of air pollution. TVA / GPA Photo Archive / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Tweeting that the U.S. has the cleanest air in the world does not make it so. Not only do we rank 10th, but a new study says that after steady improvement during the Obama-era, air pollution has gotten worse while Donald Trump has been president.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Gretchen Goldman

The Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel has released their consensus recommendations to the EPA administrator on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The group of 20 independent experts, that were disbanded by Administrator Wheeler last October and reconvened last week, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has now made clear that the current particulate pollution standards don't protect public health and welfare.

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Golden Gate Bridge in California. Sasha Kravchenko / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Don Anair

The Trump administration has been on a collision course with California, and it appears that collision is imminent. An administrative action to undermine the authority granted to the state by the Clean Air Act to protect its citizens from vehicle pollution appears to be imminent. This illegal attack is not just harmful for the nation's most populous state—it is an attack on the 13 states and the District of Columbia that follow California's lead and, ultimately, the entire country. The American auto industry and the American public will be worse off as a result.

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At his nomination on July 9, Brett Kavanaugh claimed, "No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination." Official White House photo by D. Myles Cullen

When President Donald Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday, he picked the potential justice with the most environmental law experience of his final four frontrunners, E&E reported.

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The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC. Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Ken Kimmell

Battle lines over President Trump's nominee for a new U.S. Supreme Court justice are now being drawn, as they should be, over crucial issues such as a woman's right to choose, health care, immigration, civil rights and criminal justice. In past nomination fights, little attention has been paid to the court's role in shaping environmental law and science-based regulation. But it would be a major mistake to overlook these issues now. The Supreme Court has an enormous impact on how U.S. environmental laws are interpreted and enforced, and a new justice could tip the balance against science-based rules on climate change, clean air and clean water.

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Drivers battle traffic during rush hour in Los Angeles, CA in March 2015. Eric Demarcq / flickr / cc

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia is suing the Trump administration for blocking greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles that aimed to reduce air pollution and curb U.S. drivers' contributions to the global climate crisis.

In what critics called an "indefensible and frankly embarrassing decision," last month U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt caved to automobile industry lobbyists' demands and announced that his agency is drafting relaxed manufacturing rules for vehicles made between 2022 and 2025.

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Los Angeles skyline. Prayitno Photography / CC BY 2.0

U.S. air pollution isn't declining as fast as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has claimed, a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed.

To track the levels of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, two pollutants that contribute to smog formation, an international research team used satellite pollution measurements backed up by local air quality monitor readings.

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Pacific Coast Highway traffic. Kenyon Edmond / Flickr

By Ben Jervey

A coalition of conservative groups, many with close ties to the Koch brothers, is calling for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to strip California of its right to set stricter greenhouse gas limits for personal vehicles.

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Traffic on the I-405 in Los Angeles. Eric Beteille / Flickr

By Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins

Editor's note: On April 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Trump administration plans to revise tailpipe emissions standards negotiated by the Obama administration for motor vehicles built between 2022 and 2025, saying the standards were set "too high." Pruitt also said the EPA was re-examining California's historic ability to adopt standards that are more ambitious than the federal government's. Legal scholars Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins explain why California has this authority—and what may happen if the EPA tries to curb it.

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By Ken Kimmell

A major front in the climate change debate has moved to the courtroom, as I've previously discussed. Last week, plaintiffs in two separate cases won significant procedural victories—one against major fossil fuel companies, and a second against the Trump administration. Here are the latest developments and their implications.

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