Trump Administration Revokes California’s Ability to Set Fuel Emission Standards, Posing Problems Nationwide

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Trump Administration Revokes California’s Ability to Set Fuel Emission Standards, Posing Problems Nationwide

Grace Murphy

Grace Murphy

Grace Murphy

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In a controversial move last week, the Trump Administration revoked California’s ability to set fuel emission standards, posing large problems nationwide and setting the precedent of economy over health safety.

California cities are the most polluted in the nation. The atmosphere surrounding them is filled with PM2.5, an atmospheric particulate matter that comes from power plants, forest fires, airplanes, and most importantly, motor vehicles. These particles are so small that they stay in the atmosphere longer and pose a greater risk of being inhaled. This can lead to premature death from lung and heart disease.

Back in 1970, the Clean Air Act passed by Congress issued a waiver to California to allow such standards to be made. The state government struck a deal with 4 automakers in the region who pledged to produce fuel efficient vehicles that emitted less pollution. These cars would average around 50 miles per gallon, while Trump wishes to freeze mileage standards at a mere 37 miles per gallon. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it comes at a time when gas prices are on the rise due to the attack on Saudi Arabia.

“We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA Administrator.
California fuel emission standards have been adopted by 13 other states in the past few years.

According to Wheeler, California has “the worst air quality in the United States.” He added that they should put their effort into that situation. However, the fuel standards would have lessened this problem.

Trump’s actions threaten to reverse the hard work of many environmental activists. It may be a strong move for the economy, but the danger of such a disregard of the harmful emissions produced by cars is highly concerning.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is determined to fight the administration in federal court. In a statement, Becerra declared, “We’re ready to fight for a future that you [Trump] seem unable to comprehend.”
Presently, 22 states have joined the lawsuit against the Trump administration.

 

Sources:

https://blissair.com/what-is-pm-2-5.htm
https://qz.com/1604654/the-us-cities-with-the-worst-air-pollution-are-in-california/
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/18/761815991/white-house-to-revoke-waiver-allowing-california-to-set-its-own-emissions-standa
https://www.kcra.com/article/epa-californias-fuel-economy/29092549
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-admin-moves-toward-national-fuel-economy-standard-prepares-for-legal-battle-with-california
https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/20/california-federal-vehicle-emissions-lawsuit/

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