Biden administration restores California’s ability to set automatic emissions standards
DETROIT – The U.S. Department of Transportation is set to reverse former President Donald Trump’s proposal to end California’s ability to set its own standards for pollution from automobile exhaust pipes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of the DOT, said Thursday it was proposing to remove a rule to prevent states from setting their own requirements for greenhouse gases, zero-emission vehicles and d fuel economy.
The change, if approved after the agency takes public comment, would allow California and 15 states that follow its standards to set their own rules. President Joe Biden has said he will seek a national standard, as was the case under former President Barack Obama. Biden had long been expected to support California.
Trump’s 2019 decision to end California’s independence has been challenged in court by state and environmental groups. It also scared the auto industry, which did not want the cost of building two different vehicles, one for California and its supporters and another for the rest of the country.
Trump’s decision has divided the industry, with most of the automakers behind him while Ford F,
and Geely’s 175,
Volvo has decided to follow California standards. After Biden’s inauguration, automakers began to withdraw support for Trump’s decision.
The DOT said in a statement that Thursday’s action would establish a regulatory clean slate and undo “unnecessary and potentially illegal efforts to prevent state action.”
Steven Cliff, NHTSA interim administrator, said states have led the way in tackling climate change. “The rule proposed by NHTSA would remove unnecessary obstacles to state leadership in regulating greenhouse gases and other air pollutants that spit out of car exhaust pipes,” he said in a statement. .
Trump also rescinded Obama-era energy efficiency and emissions standards, and it’s likely the Biden administration will reverse them as well, replacing them with more stringent requirements.
The ministry will take comments for a month before the reversal goes through the regulatory process.