Trump to Revoke California’s Emission Standards


President Trump believes that “climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science.” These beliefs have led him and his administration to announce the revoking of California’s authority to set car emission standards. Trump planned this announcement to take place on September 18th. California would not be the only state affected by revoking these regulations since 13 other states follow California’s standards. Car manufacturers make cars with California standards because California drivers buy a significant number of new cars each year.

Even if climate change is a major problem, the White House made it clear that striving towards making a change in global warming was not part of their agenda. This mentality is reflected in Trump’s actions. He has undermined policies made in Obama’s terms that helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, he has weakened car emission standards nationwide, recalled rules concerning coal-burning power plants, and lessened restrictions of methane leaks on energy companies. Trump tweeted that his plan to revoke California’s standards would lead to safer cars, an increase in jobs, and an improvement in highway safety. This feud between the state and the central government began last year when the EPA tried taking away California’s waiver on mileage standards. Since then, regulations have been expected from the federal government. Until now, California’s authority to set these standards has rarely been questioned.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Because of this issue, California had stepped up and created these regulations, improving the air quality and taking into account people’s health. Other states have adopted these standards, including the District of Columbia. California’s regulations are stricter than the federal government’s regulations. This is another factor pushing the state of California to create its own statutes. For example, the California Air Resources Board has addressed air pollution by creating their own rules. The Truck and Bus Regulation was created by the CARB to reduce toxic air contaminant emissions from their exhaust. Another step taken to reduce air pollution from car emissions was an agreement made between California and four major auto companies. This agreement consisted of Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda agreeing to produce fleets of cars using 50 miles per gallon by 2025. Because automakers are caught in the middle of this, Trump officials are making auto companies choose between the state and the federal government. It is said that automakers are siding with California in case Trump loses the election. Overall, automakers want a set national standard.

Before California put these regulations into practice, cities were dangerously polluted. Baldwin Park was no exception. Mrs. Juniper delineated how the city was years ago. “When I would come home in the afternoon, my chest hurt…I just thought that that was part of life.” Juniper grew up in Rosemead and she “usually couldn’t see the mountains.” She described the layers of smog and pollution saying, “You could see the stratosphere. It was bad.” Moreover, Juniper told a story where a teacher moved to Azusa and lived there for three years before he knew that there were mountains. Pollution was a huge issue but it was not being addressed until standards were implemented.

California is not the only one willing to fight this recall. Other states and environmentalists are willing to sue the federal government. A majority of Americans oppose Trump’s plan. Furthermore, it is important to note that administrations have never revoked a state’s authority to regulate their own air quality. Some have called this action an illegal attack on states’ rights. Besides, there is not anything in the Clean Air Act nor the EPA regulations that address this situation.

Right now, automakers are in turmoil because they do not want rollbacks; they want a national standard. If Trump’s plan is passed, states will p

Photo courtesy of Humanitarian Club

ermanently be blocked from making regulations over greenhouse gas pollution. There would also be an increase in oil consumption. On the other hand, if Trump’s plan is rejected, states will be able to administer their own statutes.

After Trump’s announcement of revoking California’s emission standards and seeing the people’s reaction, it is clear that climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed and fought against. There are actions people can take to support this fight. For example, people can recycle, avoid using plastic, plant a tree, and be part of a protest. Recently, part of the BPHS Humanitarian club went to a climate strike to bring attention to global warming. These are only some of the many steps people can take to help the Earth.

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