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The New York Times endorsed Senators Elizabeth Warren of MA and Amy Klobuchar of MN. Plus, on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, candidates spoke at a forum about protecting democracy, "a decade after Citizens United."

Health Groups, Mayors Pan Trump’s Move To Lower Emissions Standards

California's higher vehicle-emissions standards have significantly lessened smog pollution. (Jackiebabe/Morguefile)
California's higher vehicle-emissions standards have significantly lessened smog pollution. (Jackiebabe/Morguefile)
September 20, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Clean-air advocates are speaking out after the Trump administration yesterday formally revoked a waiver that allows California to have higher vehicle emissions standards than those set by the federal government.

The Environmental Protection Agency claims new cars with fewer pollution controls will be cheaper – so more people can afford to replace older models. Paul Billings, national senior vice president for public policy for the American Lung Association, disagrees.

"So we're going to have vehicles that create more greenhouse-gas pollution, don't go as far on a tank of gas, and that will mean that more money comes out of a family's pockets for their monthly transportation costs," says Billings.

The EPA's revocation of the Clean Air Act waiver also affects the 13 other states plus D.C. that adopted California's standards. California recently struck a deal with four automakers, who will keep producing cars to the higher emissions standards.

Albany Mayor Rochelle Nason says California is particularly prone to smog and notes that carbon emissions contribute to climate change – which scientists have linked to worsening droughts, heat waves and fires.

"It's extremely troubling,” says Nason. “We have had waivers in place for years to protect human health. Air pollution affects everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us."

The change is certain to be challenged in the courts. The administration is expected to release its new, lower emissions standards later this fall.

Disclosure: The Partnership Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA