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Trump could move this week to end California's clean-car authority

Trump could move this week to end California's clean-car authority

The proposal - presuming it sees the light of day - will be the first shot in what is expected to be a long battle in the USA courts.

According to Bloomberg, President Trump will seek to ease future fuel economy regulations by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke the Clean Air Act waiver that allows the state of California to impose its own tailpipe rules.

California and 16 other states, plus the District of Columbia sued May 2 to block the Trump administration from pumping the brakes on emissions standards. Freezing the standards would reduce the average fleet fuel economy standard from a current projected level of 46.8 miles per gallon in 2026 and reduce it to 37 miles per gallon, according to an earlier draft obtained by Democratic Senator Tom Carper.

The Obama administration had proposed tougher standards - 36 mpg by 2025.

In May, California and a group of 16 other states challenged the Trump administration's decision to reopen strict US vehicle emissions rules for review.

California and like-minded states are girding for a legal battle with the Trump administration on whether those states have gone too far in controlling greenhouse gases from automobiles, a prospective case that legal scholars say - barring a last-minute settlement - is sure to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The administration also contends the new rule would reduce "societal costs" by about $500 billion over the life of the vehicles but the administration's overall forecast net benefits are unclear, once higher fuel consumption is taken into account.

The other attack on California comes in the form of a proposed revocation of the state's mandate that automakers sell electric vehicles.

The state's ability to set its own rules has also let to regulations that many in the trucking industry have found onerous. The revision would also impact California's mandate on electric vehicle sales in the state.

The EPA and Transportation Department did not immediately provide comments on Monday.

An annual report issued this month by the California Air Resources Board found that California already has met its 2020 goal for cutting greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels.

And a long legal fight between the state and federal governments could make it hard for the automakers to plan, since the process of designing, engineering and introducing a new auto typically takes more than three years, Brauer said. Meanwhile, California has announced that the state plans to take legal action to fight the intrusion into their state politics.

"What we don't want to see is two different standards for the country", Wheeler said, calling for a "50-state solution" to disputes over mileage standards.

"One of the reasons they've been somewhat quiet is because they're torn, " said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Autotrader and KBB.com, speaking of the auto companies.

"It's going to be an interesting battle because it's going to go to California's authority", McGarity says.

The rules could thwart efforts to boost EVs in California.

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