California Eyes Climate Leadership Role, But Trump’s EPA Holds A Key On Cars


Publish Date:
January 25, 2017
  • Sommer, Lauren
KQED - Science
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California Gov. Jerry Brown is vowing to lead the nation on climate change, as the Trump administration pulls back. But the Trump administration could get in California’s way.

In his annual State of the State speech, California Gov. Jerry Brown had one key message about climate change: perseverance.

Michael Wara, a professor at Stanford Law School, said this isn’t just about California.

“The first legal disputes are going to be about cars,” he said. “And I’d be surprised actually if we didn’t see those disputes.”

Thirteen other states have adopted the same clean car standards. But the bigger question, Wara said, is a political one.

“How a Pruitt EPA responds to some of these issues with California is really going to test Scott Pruitt’s and the administration’s commitment to conservative values,” he said.

“So that logic would seem to imply that California should have the right to set its own agenda,” Wara said. “But we’ll see how that trades off against the desire to roll back regulations related to greenhouse gases.”

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