Want to toss out pollution-fighting rules? You’ll have to face California first.
This story was originally published by Wired and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
In its ongoing jihad against federal regulations, the Trump administration has indicated some interest in targeting the ones that attempt to fight climate change. First in its sights: a funky law that gives the state of California the right to make its own rules on automotive emissions. But because of the way laws and business work, the California exemption is one of the most powerful environmental tools in the world.
So California’s not going down without a fight.
A quick history lesson: When legislators wrote the 1963 Clean Air Act, they acknowledged that California already had pollution-fighting rules, and that its environmental situation was especially dire. So they gave the state the right to write its own, stricter standards.
“It’s hard to overstate how important the ability for California to set its standards has been to public health and clean air over the past 40 years,” says Don Anair, deputy director for the clean vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Time and again, California’s been willing and able to move forw... Read more