California returns as climate leader, with help from the White House

Under the Clean Air Act of 1970, the EPA granted California a waiver to set exhaust standards that were stricter than the federal limits ...


Under the Clean Air Act of 1970, the EPA granted California a waiver to set exhaust standards that were stricter than the federal limits to combat its smog problems.

As the most populous state and with the fifth largest economy in the world, California has been able to influence automakers and set the pace for the rest of the country. Seventeen other states and the District of Columbia have adopted the California rules, turning them into de facto national standards. Twelve other states are following California’s mandate to sell only zero-emission vehicles after 2035.

In 2009, President Barack Obama established federal emissions standards based on the California rule. Last year, the Biden administration began the legal process to reinstate the California waiver, which is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

“It’s a historic role that California has played since 1970, a role that was only interrupted under the Trump administration,” said Richard Revesz, professor of environmental law at New York University. . “This is an extremely important policy, but it is also a return to the traditional way of understanding the relationship between the federal government and California with respect to vehicle pollution. It’s a time to return to normal.

Mr Trump’s allies see it differently, saying a state should not be allowed to determine national standards.

“We believe what California is doing is beyond the law, and we should not establish federal law based on what California decides to impose on its citizens,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute. for Energy Research, an organization that supports the use of fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, the EPA is preparing tougher regulations governing heavy-duty truck emissions to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions, which are linked to lung cancer, heart disease and premature death. California’s truck rule, enacted late last year, requires manufacturers to produce progressively cleaner trucks between 2024 and 2031.

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Newsrust - US Top News: California returns as climate leader, with help from the White House
California returns as climate leader, with help from the White House
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