Trump Administration Revokes California’s Emissions Authority

As much as we like to stay out of the political realm, sometimes it’s impossible. On September 18, 2019, President Trump and his administration decided to step in and make changes to California laws that would directly affect the automotive industry.

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On Twitter, the President stated, “The Trump Administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER. This will lead to more production because of this pricing and safety advantage, and also due to the fact that older, highly polluting cars, will be replaced by new, extremely environmentally friendly cars. There will be very little difference in emissions between the California Standard and the new U.S. Standard, but the cars will be far safer and much less expensive. Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because, without this alternative to California, you will be out of business.”

The Trump administration states that a national standard would give consumers access to vehicles that are more affordable and safer with cleaner emissions. They also say it will result in boosting the U.S. auto manufacturing industry occurring millions with new car sales. If you are an automotive enthusiast in California, this sounds like good news. California is known for most having the most stringent rules and regulations in the country, making it all but impossible to modify a newer vehicle. Any relief in this area would be welcomed by car lovers and hot rodders alike.

The “One National Program Rule” intends to prevent individual states from forcing their own set of rules on its citizens. The state of California has been imposing its own emissions standards, which are much more stringent than the federal governments, due to a waiver issued by Congress for the Clean Air Act in 1970. Here’s the ironic part of California’s emission laws: California is not only in the top 10 of the most polluted U.S. cities by ozone, it holds 8 of the 10 spots according to the American Lung Association with its current emissions laws.

Here is what the American Lung Association “State of the Air” report 2018 shows regarding the most polluted U.S. cities by ozone.

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
2. Visalia, CA
3. Bakersfield, CA
4. Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA
5. Sacramento-Roseville, CA
6. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA
7. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
8. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
9. Houston-The Woodlands, TX
10. New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA

It will be interesting to see if the Trump administrations’ “One National Program Rule” has a positive or negative effect on California’s ozone problem. We might not even have a chance to see if this rule makes a difference, since California and 22 other states have already proceeded with a lawsuit toward the Trump administration, according to Autoblog.com.

The Golden State has its hand full with or without the new rules and it will be interesting to see what automakers say about these changes. One thing’s for sure you have to love politics…or not.

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About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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