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article imageCalifornia answer to EPA on auto emission rollbacks: Game on!

By Karen Graham     Aug 8, 2018 in Environment
Sacramento - After the Trump administration proposed loosening auto exhaust standards and revoking California’s authority to set its own rules, the state's air pollution regulators published their response on Tuesday. Boiled down to the gist, it says: No dice.
California has fired the second volley in the Trump administration's attack on California's strict vehicle emission rules, releasing a plan that would require cars in the state to satisfy its more ambitious fuel efficiency standards even if the federal government weakens its own rules.
This latest answer by California is in response to a plan released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week that would weaken air-pollution rules, while also setting out a challenge to California's unique right under federal law to set its own stricter emission standards.
On Tuesday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a rule that would require passenger vehicles in the state to continue meeting its emission requirements through 2025,
Since 2009, California has used the same emissions standards as the federal government, seeing as the emissions regulations proposed by the Obama administration that year had the same targets as the state. Since that time, 12 other states have adopted California's standards and nine other states have adopted similar rules for electric vehicles, Utility Dive points out.
The federal government is arguing that the nation must have just one set of regulations for air pollution limits. At this time, though, all automobiles must meet California's regulations. Under the EPA's proposed rules, light-duty vehicle emission standards would freeze at 37 miles per gallon in 2020, instead of accelerating to 55 miles per gallon in 2025 under the Obama rules.
Under the CARB plan, those higher standards would remain in place until 2025. This will give the state a chance to enact longer-term standards out to 2050.
In statements, California government officials say they believe regulations that “provide significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, public health benefits, … and fuel savings for consumers … are nonetheless not worth the perceived burden to manufacturers and other industry.” As a result, “California must act to … maintain the benefits of its emission standards.”
Mary Nichols, the chairwoman of the air board, said: “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.” The air board plans to vote on the proposal Sept. 27.
More about auto emission standards, California, Epa, keep standards, rollback