WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that his administration is revoking California’s authority to set its own stricter tailpipe emissions standards, days before a major U.N. summit on averting climate change disaster.
The move came after the state reached a deal with major automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars for the U.S. market, infuriating federal authorities who claimed the agreement violated anti-trust laws.
“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,” Trump tweeted.
The administration argues that higher standards lead to higher costs for consumers, depressing the new car market and resulting in more old and unsafe vehicles on the roads.
Trump, who made the announcement during a trip to California, added: “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.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has called the plan to undermine his state’s power part of a longstanding “political vendetta” and has vowed to fight back in court.
Critics have also noted the administration’s move appears to goes against the principle of states’ rights, a position otherwise championed by the president’s Republican party.