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Trump administration to attempt to revoke California's authority to regulate auto emissions


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The most-populous U.S. state and 16 others plus the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on May 2 seeking to block the Trump administration’s effort to unravel the Obama-era emissions targets. Sperling said that number will grow as more and more people come to realize how fundamentally Trump is attacking the idea of states’ rights.

Caught somewhere in the middle are automakers, which in recent months have stressed they would not support freezing the federal targets and want Washington and Sacramento to continue linking their vehicle efficiency goals. While they spent the first year of the Trump administration attacking Obama’s rules as too costly, they fear the regulatory uncertainty that a years-long court battle over a rollback would create. In addition, other major auto markets such as China and Europe are pressing forward with tougher mandates of their own for cleaner cars.

 

Put more Democrats into governors' mansions so more can fight against the White House.

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2 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

 

Nah, because then you just have the governors sign laws within their states if a poor president such as Trump is in office.

Except those state laws could be considered illegal under the ICC.  I'm not even sure how the CAFE standards are legal under the ICC to begin with.

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3 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

 

Cool, let's all just kill ourselves now since you guys have every worst-case scenario mapped out until the heat death of the universe.

Explaining how under the Federal system of the United States such seemingly "obvious" solutions can possibly run headlong into the very foundational structure of the United States isn't a "worst-case scenario" - it's political reality.

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23 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

 

Cool, let's all just kill ourselves now since you guys have every worst-case scenario mapped out until the heat death of the universe.

 

giphy.gif

 

@SaysWho? is getting tired of everyone's shit. :rofl:

 

I gotta say I agree with him. There are reasons (though increasingly few) to be optimistic. But it is smart and healthy skepticism to map out every scenario as it would likely play out in our current environment based on, if nothing else, the rules. And ICC would be a problem. 

  • Haha 1
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14 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

Sorry, I should've been far more specific in that I meant the California standards.

The clean air act specifically allows state waivers to federal preemption

 

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(a) Prohibition
No State or any political subdivision thereof shall adopt or attempt to enforce any standard relating to the control of emissions from new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines subject to this part. No State shall require certification, inspection, or any other approval relating to the control of emissions from any new motor vehicle or new motor vehicle engine as condition precedent to the initial retail sale, titling (if any), or registration of such motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, or equipment.

(b) Waiver
(1) The Administrator shall, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, waive application of this section to any State which has adopted standards (other than crankcase emission standards) for the control of emissions from new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines prior to March 30, 1966, if the State determines that the State standards will be, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable Federal standards. No such waiver shall be granted if the Administrator finds that—
(A) the determination of the State is arbitrary and capricious,
(B) such State does not need such State standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions, or
(C) such State standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 7521(a) of this title.
(2) If each State standard is at least as stringent as the comparable applicable Federal standard, such State standard shall be deemed to be at least as protective of health and welfare as such Federal standards for purposes of paragraph (1).
 

 

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9 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

@b_m_b_m_b_m - I see!

 

So the Administration would have to essentially get the court overturn to that portion of the Clean Air Act...or even the entire Act as a whole.

 

Edit: I suppose the ICC could form the basis for that argument?

 

As I understand it, Trump wants to revoke CA's waiver, but legal experts have said that he can't because he would be targeting a specific state and the CAA has no test for allowing/disallowing specific waivers. So the only way around this is to basically try and overturn the CAA itself, which is mad.

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23 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

@b_m_b_m_b_m - I see!

 

So the Administration would have to essentially get the court overturn to that portion of the Clean Air Act...or even the entire Act as a whole.

Striking down this provision would probably take some interesting mental gymnastics, given that the court seems to be somewhat deferential to Congress if Congress passes a constitutional law. And here, Congress is fairly specific in that the administrator shall issue a waiver unless some very specific conditions are met.

 

Striking down the whole law, though, would be less shocking. Auto manufacturers would hate it, and so would every state not named California, as auto manufacturers would default to them as standard, as having multiple skus would be cost prohibitive. Striking down the clean air act with respect to the ICC would be huge also. In that case, virtually any law passed by Congress under the guise of interstate commerce would go out the window. 

 

Makes me think that a direct tax on given pollutants would be more constitutionally tenable, but that would require a functioning government.

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37 minutes ago, CitizenVectron said:

but legal experts have said that he can't because he would be targeting a specific state

 

But the Clean Air Act is also super unusual in naming a specific state (California) as getting a waiver. So on the one hand that would certainly seem to strengthen the idea that he can't just take away California's waiver since it's specifically provided, but I also wonder if that has any bearing on whether that part of the CAA would hold up to a court challenge?

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1 minute ago, Jason said:

 

But the Clean Air Act is also super unusual in naming a specific state (California) as getting a waiver. So on the one hand that would certainly seem to strengthen the idea that he can't just take away California's waiver since it's specifically provided, but I also wonder if that has any bearing on whether that part of the CAA would hold up to a court challenge?

Where in the act does it specifically call out California? I could see this portion of the act being thrown out because it gives California something that other states have, and that I believe is unconstitutional

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21 hours ago, Greatoneshere said:

 

I'd argue it's more like 75% don't know. Maybe higher. Yes, I am completely serious. 

 

Unfortunately I'm betting enough of the undersexed 20somethings that work in the administration know well enough to get policy implemented.

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1 minute ago, finaljedi said:

 

Unfortunately I'm betting enough of the undersexed 20somethings that work in the administration know well enough to get policy implemented.

 

Yeah - bad policies, which still makes them idiots. But they are in that dangerous spot, I agree. Too stupid/evil to make good policies, but not dumb enough that they can't get their bad policies passed. They can, and that makes them dangerous.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The madmen did it. Trump administration to freeze fuel efficiency requirements
https://wapo.st/2AvMHmE

 

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Representatives of the U.S. auto industry praised the administration’s proposal, even as some automakers privately have expressed unease at the prospect of abrupt changes in fuel standards and having to meet different standards in different states.

“Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment,” Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a statement. “We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America’s drivers.”

Trump administration officials have fought for weeks behind the scenes over the details of the how to relax Obama-era standards. Top officials at the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency clashed over whether the White House’s justifications for the new policy can stand up to legal scrutiny.

In one recent internal presentation, part of which was obtained by The Washington Post, officials at the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality warned that the proposal at that point contained “a wide range of errors, use of outdated data, and unsupported assumptions.”

Ultimately, the two agencies published Thursday’s proposal jointly, and acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler publicly defended the proposal during testimony Wednesday before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

 

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23 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

Even automakers aren't really happy about this. I imagine that they need to justify their investments in R&D, that they're going to need to continue to do it for Europe anyways, and what they dislike most of all is all the uncertainty. If this ends up shattering US standards among the states, it could be a real hassle for them.

They're more likely to pick the most stringent, and run with those, unless there is a major, major disconnect in price for different skus of the same make and model. It's what other industries (like furniture flammability as an example) do with regard to state by state regulation.

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