WASHINGTON. It’s a stunning but long overdue move. For years, California has effectively preempted the authority of 49 states and the Federal government. By abusing a 2009 emissions waiver granted by the Obama-era EPA, California’s Green Meanies pulled off a neat trick. They are effectively imposing costly national automobile emissions standards that can inflict economic damage on the rest of the country. If this potentially ruinous emissions waiver continues to stand, its effect on American lives, living standards, jobs and mobility could result in economic disaster.
This Obama-era EPA emissions waiver effectively gave carte blanche to California’s know-nothing warmists. It enables them to impose their radical “green” agenda on the entire nation, including America’s car makers and related manufacturers. This stealthy emissions waiver is yet another example of the Obama administration’s sneaky, dishonest effort to “fundamentally transform” America. For the worse.
All about the Obama-era EPA emissions waiver granted to California
We quote at length from a stunning exposé on this topic that appeared Monday, July 23 on the muckraking business site ZeroHedge. “Tyler Durden,” reports on the current move by the Trump administration to curtail California’s stealth emissions waiver. The waiver amounts to yet another ticking time-bomb left for the new administration by Barack Obama and his radicalized EPA.
“In a move that will infuriate environmentalists everywhere, but especially in California, the Trump administration is seeking to repeal California’s authority to regulate automobile emissions in a proposed revision of Obama-era standards, according to Bloomberg citing three people familiar with the plan.
“The proposal which will be released later this week represents a ‘frontal assault’ on one of Barack Obama’s signature regulatory programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
“It also sets up a high-stakes battle over California’s unique ability to combat air pollution and, if finalized, is sure to set off a protracted courtroom battle.
“And since the revamp also includes California’s mandate for electric car sales, it represents a gut punch to the likes of Elon Musk, who recently announced (yet again) a deal to begin work on a factory in China.
That final sentence is an interesting observation. It throws more light on Tesla’s recent Model 3 chicanery. It may explain Elon Musk’s troubling social networking antics as well. And it may provide another reason for the huge recent drop in Tesla (symbol: TSLA) shares. By a convenient coincidence, we discussed the strange case of Tesla in our Monday column, just before we discovered ZH’s exposé.
Even more on Obama’s stealth waiver
Back to the ZeroHedge. The news only gets worse in this report. Witness how Obama’s EPA and a one-party state fundamentally transformed the 10thAmendment and the concept of states’ rights. And how the Trump administration plans to nuke this move. (Bolding and italics in the following excerpts are via ZeroHedge.)
“The proposed [Trump administration] overhaul would also put the brakes on federal rules to boost fuel efficiency into the next decade, instead it will cap federal fuel economy requirements at the 2020 level, which under federal law must be at least a 35-mile-per-gallon fleet average, rather than letting them rise to roughly 50 mpg by 2025 as envisioned in the plan left behind by Obama.
“As Bloomberg details, as part of the stunning proposal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose revoking the Clean Air Act waiver granted to California that has allowed the state to regulate carbon emissions from vehicle tailpipes and force carmakers to sell electric vehicles in the state in higher numbers.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration joins the fray
Available information indicates that the administration’s counter move was well thought-out in advance. Trump’s latest proposal to reign in California’s ruinous political insanity involves at least one other Federal agency.
“Separately, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will assert that California is barred from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from autos under the 1975 law that established the first federal fuel-efficiency requirements, the people said.
“Agencies are expected to claim it will reduce traffic fatalities by making it cheaper for drivers to replace older, less-safe cars, while paring sticker prices for new vehicles even if motorists have to spend more for gasoline.
“In other words, in what amounts to a full-blown war between the White House and California, the administration will put its weight behind the dramatic overhaul, including the revocation of California’s cherished authority.
“The state’s 2009 waiver of federal preemption under the Clean Air Act has allowed the California state to set emissions rules for cars and trucks that are more stringent than the federal government’s, but the state has aligned its rules with those set by the EPA and NHTSA in a so-called national program of clean-car rules.
“Needless to say, if Trump’s plan sticks it would represent his biggest regulatory rollback yet.”
One million lawyers attack, get rich quick
This outcome sounds great for all Americans. The goes double, particularly for America’s Deplorables. Even California’s forgotten deplorables want to keep their hard-won jobs after 8 years of Barack Obama’s job-killing presidency.
But, as you might imagine, here come one million Soros-funded lefty lawyers with legal six-guns blazing.
“Predictably, California was furious and rejects the idea that its 48-year ability to write its own tailpipe emission rules should end: ‘We have the law on our side, as well as the people of the country and the people of the world,’ said Dan Sperling, a member of the state’s Air Resources Board said.
“On May 2, California and 16 others plus the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump administration’s effort to unravel the Obama-era emissions targets. Sperling said that number will grow as more and more people come to realize how fundamentally Trump is attacking the idea of states’ rights.”
How many friends does Donald Trump have in California?
Durden launches his wrap-up with what could be an unintentionally hilarious opening sentence.
“Trump’s action will not make him any friends in the Golden State.”
Trump, in fact, has little to lose. The president clearly has very few if any friends in America’s onetime “Golden State.”
Leftist Democrat long-knives were quick to pounce on the Trump plan. They proceded to bluster away in traditionally Doomsday prose.
More gasbagging from the usual warmist suspects
“‘This is nothing less than an outrageous attack on public health and states’ rights,” said Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch. ‘It’s a dumb move for an administration that claims it wants peace, because this will lead to an emissions war: progressive states versus a reactionary federal government. The big question: who will the car companies back?’”
Take a Xanax and relax, Frank.
Unless they sell out to the left, the car companies might very well back the administration’s position. Otherwise, they risk huge, rising inventories of costly, unaffordable “green” vehicles.
Point-counterpoint. A sane respose to ecoterrorists’ apocalyptic hyperbole
ZH and Tyler Durden conclude their exposé on a hopeful note. It serves as counterpoint to O’Donnell’s left-wing hysteria.
“Meanwhile, others are secretly pleased: some conservatives have long chafed at the rare authority granted California and welcome the effort to revoke.
“‘Congress didn’t intend for California to set national fuel economy standards,’ said Steve Milloy, a policy adviser for the Heartland Institute, a group critical of climate science. ‘It’s nutty it’s been allowed to develop. National fuel economy standards are set by the federal government so that’s what we are going to do.’”
That’s precisely the point. The Founding Fathers didn’t intend the 10th Amendment or states’ rights to let one state to dictate to the rest. (That same kind of common sense also applies to the electoral college.)
California has no right whatsoever to dictate national standards on anything. That includes the ever-changing vapors of so-called “climate scientists.” I
EPA, California, and their emissions waiver collusion clearly interfere with the free flow of interstate commerce with the others.
The inevitable litigation should conclude in the Federal government’s favor. We can already hear most working Americans breathing a sigh of relief. Except, of course, for California’s die-hard eco-warriors that find themselves forced to conform to the rule of law.
If not, they can leave.