Saturday, March 04, 2017
They love dirty air, too.
It is not just dirty water that thrills Republicans to the marrow, air thick enough to be chewed is also on their wish list.
The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming, according to people familiar with the matter, essentially marking a U-turn to efforts to force the American auto industry to produce more electric cars.The key to getting back that old time filth in the air is revoking the California waiver. Because of the large number of cars sold in California, car makers have generally followed the emissions rules of that state to save money by building only one kind of car. Eliminate that waiver and you eliminate any hope of clean air until the Republican Party is utterly crushed.
The announcement — which is expected as soon as Tuesday and will be made jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao — will immediately start to undo one of former President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental legacies.
During the same week, and possibly on the same day, Mr. Trump is expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin the more lengthy and legally complex process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s rules to cut planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants.
The regulatory rollback on vehicle pollution will relax restrictions on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and will not require action by Congress. It will also have a major effect on the United States auto industry.
Under the Obama administration’s vehicle fuel economy standards, American automakers were locked into nearly a decade of trying to design and build ever more sophisticated fuel-efficient vehicles, including electric and hybrid models. The nation’s largest auto companies told Mr. Trump last month that they found those technical requirements too burdensome.
The E.P.A. will also begin legal proceedings to revoke a waiver for California that was allowing the state to enforce the tougher tailpipe standards for its drivers.
E.P.A. officials did not respond to emails requesting comment on the move.
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