In major win for consumers, Trump revokes California’s waiver on auto emissions standards

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Posted by Mike Palicz on Wednesday, September 18th, 2019, 4:47 PM PERMALINK

This morning President Trump announced that his administration will revoke California’s waiver that permits the state to set its own fuel economy regulations separate from national standards. This action from the president brings the U.S. closer to a single, unified fuel economy standard.

“The Trump Administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER,” The President stated on twitter. “Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business.”

Issued under President Obama, the California waiver forces auto manufacturers to build more expensive cars in compliance with California’s regulations. Under the waiver, auto manufacturers can comply with federal standards yet still barred from marketplace in California.

However, no other state is permitted a waiver from federal rules, meaning if another state would like to set less stringent fuel economy rules compared to federal requirements, it does not have that option. As auto manufacturers can’t economically build two separate vehicle fleets, the waiver effectively allows California to dictate national requirements for vehicles in 49 other states.  

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement:

"Today’s decision by President Trump is a major win for consumers and the US economy. Letting California dictate emission standards for the 49 other states is a proven disaster for jobs, vehicle safety and affordability. 

No one living in Ohio, Michigan or Florida voted for California’s nanny state politicians. Gavin Newsom’s bureaucrats have no business telling them what car they can or can’t drive. That decisions rightly belongs to consumers. Americans for Tax Reform applauds President Trump for revoking California’s waiver and freeing consumers from Californian bureaucrats."

Revoking California's waiver is step one of the administration’s anticipated reform to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, with step two expected to be finalized later this year.

The administration’s proposed rule to freeze CAFE standards at 2020 levels is projected to save American consumers nearly $2,500 on the price of a new vehicle, putting more Americans behind the wheel of newer and safer cars. If finalized, the Department Transportation projects the rule would lead to a reduction of up to 1,000 lives lost annually in fatal vehicle crashes.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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