California responds to Trump’s call to rescind state’s authority.

August 29, 2018

In late July 2018 President Donald Trump proposed gutting California’s unique ability to write greenhouse gas emissions limits for cars and trucks. Now California is firing its own heavy artillery.

The state plans to force car makers to continue complying with Sacramento’s rules, even if Trump weakens those set in Washington according to an August 7, 2018 Transport Topics report.

This decoupling, released as a proposal on August 7, 2018, is California’s biggest salvo in the escalating fight over Trump’s fuel-economy and tailpipe emission plans. It could spark years of litigation and create a patchwork of standards that vary from state to state. But Mary Nichols, head of California’s Air Resources Board, said she had no choice.

“In case someone might think that the change in federal standards would make it easier to comply in California, it was very important for us to make clear that this is not the case,” Nichols said in an interview.

Since 2009, the most populous U.S. state has allowed car makers to satisfy its own greenhouse gas requirements by fulfilling national mandates set by the Environmental Protection Agency. California predicated this arrangement on the belief that Washington and Sacramento would continue aligning their rules and that neither side would opt for unilateral changes, according to the Aug. 7 filing.

Now, the state’s Air Resources Board plans to vote Sept. 27 on whether to cancel this so-called “deemed to comply” provision.

The state, which described itself in the filing as “an independent co-regulator for the light-duty vehicle industry,” already has locked in its tailpipe emissions rules through 2025 and is developing tougher standards through 2030. A dozen other states, which together with California constitute about a third of the U.S. vehicle market, have adopted tailpipe emission roles that mirror Sacramento’s.

They would each likely take separate votes to follow the Sacramento’s decoupling, since most already have joined a California-led lawsuit to block Trump’s rollback.

Nichols said she’s willing to negotiate but didn’t hold out much hope.

What this means to you
California plans to force carmakers to continue complying with Sacramento’s rules, even if Trump weakens those set in Washington. On August 7th the state released a decoupling proposal from its historical “deemed to comply” arrangement with the EPA. Mary Nichols, head of California’s Air Resources Board, said she had no choice.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for add-on stationary engine emission control solutions.