Again breaking rank with his party on an environmental issue, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) introduced a resolution this week opposing the Trump Administration’s rollbacks of fuel emission standards.
The state of California is currently locked in a battle with the federal government, which has been trying to loosen regulations on vehicles and fuel efficiency standards. California and other states are suing the federal government over the attempted rollbacks.
Cunningham opposes the withdrawal by the federal Environmental Protection Agency of a 2013 waiver granted under the federal Clean Air Act that would prevent California from establishing its own emissions and air quality reduction standards. That waiver gave California the ability to impose stricter standards on vehicle efficiency in order to combat air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The resolution states global climate change has had observable effects on the environment and, dating back to the governorship of Ronald Reagan, California has obtained more than 130 waivers from the federal EPA to go above and beyond federal standards.
“California’s utilization of those waivers has had a transformative effect on vehicle fuel efficiency and the environment and has contributed to California’s success in reducing smog and lowering California’s carbon emissions to 1990 levels while California has remained one of the world’s largest economies,” the resolution states.
The federal EPA and NHTSA are currently accepting public input on the planned withdrawal of California’s fuel standards waiver and will hold three public hearings on the matter, according to Cunningham’s resolution. There has yet to be a vote on the resolution by the California Legislature.
Cunningham is currently running for reelection against Democratic challenger Bill Ostrander. As he has appealed more to moderates, Cunningham has faced criticism from conservative constituents.
The Republican assemblyman previously broke rank with his party and voted in favor of extending California’s cap-and-trade program. Cunningham was one of eight Republican legislators to do so.
Cunningham has defended his support of environmental regulations, in part, by saying they are cutting costs for businesses and drivers.