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PNS Daily Newscast - October 23, 2019 


A top US diplomat testifies that millions in military aid was held up over Trump demand for "Biden probe." Also on our rundown, a hearing today targets Big Oil and "climate denial."

2020Talks - October 23, 2019 


Facebook says it blocked four networks of social media accounts to prevent election interference; and Julin Castro announces he might not have enough cash on hand to keep the campaign going.

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Air Quality at Risk Over Trump's Tailpipe Emission Change, Opponents Say

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined 23 other governors in July calling on the Trump administration to preserve states' authority to set their own clean-car standards. (David Wilson/Flickr)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined 23 other governors in July calling on the Trump administration to preserve states' authority to set their own clean-car standards. (David Wilson/Flickr)
September 20, 2019

DEKALB, Ill. – The Environmental Protection Agency says it will revoke California's authority to set higher standards for tailpipe emissions than those of the federal government – a move that will affect other states' ability to set higher standards as well.

The Trump administration specifically targeted California with the ruling after four automakers – Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen – agreed over the summer to meet the state's cleaner rule.

DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith is a member of the Climate Mayors association. He says it makes sense for the state to pursue higher standards because Chicago is a transportation hub.

"We, nonetheless, are very interested in maintaining the quality of life and the quality of the air that we've become accustomed to and that we enjoy in an area like DeKalb, Illinois,” says Smith. “And this was one of the reasons that I had signed on a couple of years ago as a climate mayor."

In July, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker joined 23 other governors asking the Trump administration to preserve states' authority to determine their own standards and calling on the federal government to raise its tailpipe-emission guidelines.

The administration says the new rule will provide "regulatory certainty" to the automobile industry and believes it will make cars less expensive. Automakers have pushed back on this, saying it will create more uncertainty.

Paul Billings, national senior vice president for public policy with the American Lung Association, says this rollback is a blow to public health, noting that four in ten Americans live in places with unhealthy air.

He adds that the transportation sector is the biggest source of carbon pollution in the country and driving climate change, which also will make air quality worse. Billings says the losers in this deal are the people who want to breathe clean air and the winners are the people who sell oil and gas.

"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 U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and EPA launched the "One Nation Program Rule" on Thursday to set standards for the entire country. Illinois, California and other states have vowed legal action, likely meaning a years-long court battle over the change.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - IL