Trump moves to revoke California’s clean air waiver

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Democratic lawmakers say the move will weaken nationwide standards and worsen climate change

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Trump administration says California can no longer set its own fuel efficiency and vehicle emission standards.

Democratic lawmakers say the decision to revoke the state’s fuel-economy rules will weaken nationwide standards and worsen climate change.

California had been given the ability to set its own pollution standards because of the large number of cars in the state. Los Angeles is famous for its smog.

But the Trump administration wants the Golden State to no longer set its own auto emissions and fuel efficiency standards.

The administration defends the move, saying more fuel-efficient cars can also be more dangerous because they’re smaller and lighter and don’t protect people as well in a crash.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the decision will make Americans safer.

“It’s going to allow cars to be cheaper, get older cars off the road,” said Wheeler. “Newer cars are safer, they’re better for the environment and they’re better for the American consumer.”

Wheeler said revoking California’s separate rules is a step toward “making sure that there is one federal standard.”

But many disagree with the move.

California Rep. Ro Khanna says the country should push for tougher emission rules and promote new clean technology, such as electric vehicles.

“The auto industry has welcomed California’s standards, it’s encouraged innovation, it’s encouraged competitiveness,” Khanna said.

But the auto industry supports having a single, national standard.

Several other states, including Oregon, have adopted the California emissions standards.

{REP. EARL BLUMEAUER / D-OR}
“This is our right, we’ve done it for years and we’re going to be challenging it aggressively in court,” said Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

The congressman said the move takes away one of the most important tools states have to fight climate change.

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