Trump administration expected to bar California from setting auto emissions rules

President Donald Trump speaking at a White House event attended by Supervisor Debbie Arnold

The Trump administration is expected to announce plans to revoke California’s authority to set its own greenhouse gas and vehicle fuel efficiency standards. [Reuters]

Simultaneously, the administration aims to establish a single set of national fuel-economy standards. The move is expected to draw a legal challenge from California and possibly other states and may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump administration plans would bar California from setting tailpipe emission standards and requiring zero emission vehicles. California wants 15.4 percent of vehicle sales by 2025 to be electric vehicles or other zero emission vehicles. 

Another 10 states have also adopted similar requirements.

Additionally, the Trump administration plans to issue separate rules that will roll back Obama-era fuel economy requirements.

Federal regulators have supported freezing emissions requirements for new cars and trucks at 2020 levels through 2026. Trump administration officials say a final regulation will include a modest boost in annual efficiency requirements but far less than what the Obama administration set in 2012.

California has vowed to challenge the federal government’s effort to set emissions standards, arguing the United States has an obligation to protect the environment for future generations.

“We’ll see you in court if you stand in our way,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.