Republicans in Congress Try to Undermine California’s Environmental Laws

Many Republicans argue that the federal government should leave more decisions to the states, but these days they’re abandoning their states’ rights talk when it comes to California — and the state’s environment could suffer as a result. The GOP-controlled Congress is trying to undermine a number of new California laws and regulations that are stricter than national rules, including environmental measures. For example, a provision tacked onto a spending bill in the Senate would block California from imposing tough antipollution rules on small outdoor engines, such as those in lawnmowers. “California shouldn’t have the right to fix California problems by killing 5,100 jobs in Missouri and 22,000 jobs in 23 states across the country,” said Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) responded by saying, “It would be a major mistake for the federal government to step in and tell states that they cannot protect their citizens from air pollution.”