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    Trump administration’s drive to block California “clean car” rules moves forward

    Trump administration’s drive to block California “clean car” rules moves forward

    #Counter-Resistance speeding along a road called Regulatory Rollback.

    In April, we reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had taken steps to challenge California’s decades-old right to set its own air pollution rules, setting up a showdown between the federal government and the West Coast headquarters of the #Resistance.

    Since then, the administration has prepared its plan to revoke California’s authority to regulate automobile greenhouse gas emissions, included its mandate for electric-car sales, and is gearing up for its release.

    The proposal, expected to be released this week, amounts to a frontal assault on one of former President Barack Obama’s signature regulatory programs to curb emissions that contribute to climate change. It also sets up a high-stakes battle over California’s unique ability to combat air pollution and, if finalized, is sure to set off a protracted courtroom battle.

    The proposed revamp would also put the brakes on federal rules to boost fuel efficiency into the next decade, said the people, who asked to not be identified discussing the proposals before they are public. Instead it would cap federal fuel economy requirements at the 2020 level, which under federal law must be at least a 35-mile-per-gallon fleet average, rather than letting them rise to roughly 50 mpg by 2025 as envisioned in the Obama plan, according to the people.

    As part of the effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose revoking the Clean Air Act waiver granted to California that has allowed the state to regulate carbon emissions from vehicle tailpipes and force carmakers to sell a minimum number of electric vehicles in the state, the people said.

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) joins the EPA in this action, as the rationale for the revocation is enhanced safety.

    The EPA and NHTSA revealed in a regulatory notice Friday that its upcoming proposal to reduce vehicle efficiency and emissions standards will be dubbed the “Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Rule,” indicating that administration officials will likely argue that stricter standards would compromise safety.

    Then-EPA head Scott Pruitt formally declared in April that the Obama plan to make emissions and efficiency standards stricter through 2026 is not appropriate. It was the first step toward potentially rolling the standards back.

    The agencies are expected in the coming days to float a proposal with a handful of ideas, including various levels of looser rules through 2026 and freezing the standards in 2020 with no additional ramping up.

    The response from green justice activists is fascinating, especially their newfound love of federalism.

    At this point, the green justice warriors may be regretting their decision to target Scott Pruitt so viciously. The new acting head of the EPA seems to have taken the driver’s seat and is speeding along a road called Regulatory Rollback.


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    beagleEar | July 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    The special California — regulatory authority — existed …

    beagleEar | July 26, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    @Latus. That Tesla turns battery stored juice into forward motion with over 90% efficiency, and it uses nothing at idle. It can also recapture over half of the energy from braking, while the typical car recaptures none. Unlike a gasoline engine, the tesla’s electric motor is efficient whether it’s running at full throttle or putting along at 10%.
    The tesla 3’s battery pack stores as many BTUs as just over 3 gallons of gasoline, but the car can cover up to 300 miles on that energy store. That’s no waste of energy.

    California gets their electricity from Hydro, nuclear, gas, and a little bit of coal. Due to their geography they also get a fair amount of solar and wind, which are not practical everywhere.

    I don’t own an electric car and don’t want one, but the technology does have a number of inherent advantages. At least get the simple facts straight.

      Mac45 in reply to beagleEar. | July 27, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      The all-electric car is very efficient, energy wise, for travel within its range [less than 300 miles, sometimes much less than that]. However, it is more expensive to purchase [sometimes much more expensive than a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle], it has added maintenance costs and, its biggest failing, is the long refill [recharge] time, especially if high speed charging stations are not available. The lack of high speed recharging infrastructure is a serious problem for any long distance travel. If you run out of charge, you can not simply hitch a ride to the nearest charging station, purchase a jug of electrical charge, return, dump it into the battery in a matter of minutes and drive to the fueling station and top off the tank.

      All-electric vehicles may be practical in urban areas, but they rapidly lose their usefulness in suburban and, especially, rural areas.

    Arminius | July 26, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    This is the email I sent to my state rep., Jodi Laubenberg:

    “A necessary suggestion to keep California madness out of Texas

    Ma’am, I am prompted to contact you by a recent and welcome Trump administration move to revoke California’s waiver to set their own vehicle emissions standards. Because the Obama administration reversed previous policy and now 13 other states received waivers to adopt California standards.

    This madness now effects us all because as I understand it vehicle manufacturers can not maintain two different assembly lines; one for the states that have adopted California vehicle emissions standards and one for those who simply require vehicles meet EPA standards. Vehicles that have to meet California standards require more emissions control equipment and are more expensive.

    I have to stress that I am talking about a state’s rights issue. California has essentially put itself in the position to be the car and truck czar over the whole nation should they find the right activist judge. It is simply not right that they can dictate what cars can be sold in Texas. You, as a state legislator, and the body you serve in should have sole say in the matter. Texans should not have to pay thousands of dollars more for cars and trucks because California is ruled by a bunch of nutcases. I want you to know I was born and raised in California and it was actually a sane place in the ’60s and ’70a when I grew up. Now it’s the world’s largest open air sewer/insane asylum. Contrary to popular opinion I didn’t come to Texas to make it more like California. I want to make sure that never happens, and that Texas if anything becomes more like Texas.

    Please consider legislation that only vehicles that meet EPA standards are sold in this state. No vehicles that exceed that standard to please some other state can be sold here. I also need to add that the California emissions standards provide no appreciable health or environmental benefits; once you get something clean enough, making it more clean doesn’t do anything except cost money. Hopefully more states will follow suit, which will force the issue as then manufacturers will be in a bind. So the courts will have to decide, who controls interstate commerce? Does the federal government, or does California dictate it?

    I moved here to escape those people, and now they’re following me. At the state level you and your colleagues can do something about it.”

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