California Set To Fight Washington Over Environmental Protections

Details

Publish Date:
January 24, 2017
Author(s):
  • Carolyn Lochhead
Source:
San Francisco Chronicle
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Summary

The Trump administration has quickly put in motion a radical shift on environmental policy that sets the federal government on a collision course with California.

Meeting with automakers Tuesday, President Trump said environmental regulations are “out of control.” He made that declaration a day after a leaked memo showed the administration would seek to halt several new federal environmental regulations, including one limiting tailpipe emissions on vehicles that are critical to California’s efforts to fight climate change.

“The priorities are pretty clear,” Michael Wara, an expert in environmental law at Stanford University, told The Chronicle. “Get rid of as many of the Obama regulatory actions on climate as possible, and try to wind that clock back.”

Auto emissions is another area where Stanford’s Wara said he expects a fight between California and the administration.

Vehicle emissions standards are “ probably the most significant thing that California has done to limit (greenhouse gas) emissions,” he said.

But Wara suggested that California has a strong economic reason for seeking one. “Industrial politics have changed since the Bush administration,” he said. “There are real employees and real investments that matter in the calculus. California for electric vehicles in the United States is a little like Michigan right now in thinking about its interests.”

But Wara suggested that California has a strong economic reason for seeking one. “Industrial politics have changed since the Bush administration,” he said. “There are real employees and real investments that matter in the calculus. California for electric vehicles in the United States is a little like Michigan right now in thinking about its interests.”

The administration “can certainly roll back Obama’s Clean Power Plan,” Wara said. “What is not possible is to roll back the findings through (the EPA) and the courts that greenhouse gases are an air pollutant that are going to require some sort of regulation.”

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