Donald Trump’s hyperbole about making America great again has been shot down in flames this week. First, it was a failure to muster enough votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Then, on Friday, the California Air Resources Board announced that it would hold firm to the same vehicle emission standards it had agreed to adopt in 2012 through to the year 2025. California will also accelerate alternative fuel powertrains from around three percent now to about fifteen percent by 2025. These sources will include batteries, fuel cells, and plug-in hybrids.
Emission requirements generally determine the fuel efficiency of cars sold in the U.S. Trump has vowed to lessen vehicle emission standards regulations in order to stimulate the U.S. automotive industry. On behalf of the Trump administration, Scott Pruitt has stated that the EPA will review California’s right to enforce stricter emissions standards than those promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The standoff injects more vitriol into the larger national conversation about whether the Trump administration will retreat from its climate change denier position or continue to bail on the U.S. and stand firm as a leader of a corporatocracy.
Reuters quotes a White House official as saying, “We are disappointed that California has chosen to refuse our good-faith offer to work together with all relevant stakeholders on this important matter.” Under a provision in the Clean Air Act, California has the autonomy to decide its own vehicle emission standards.