EPA will restore California’s authority to set stronger car and truck pollution standards, the agency announced Monday. The move will undo what Administrator Michael Regan described as a “legally dubious … attack on the public’s health and wellbeing” by the Trump administration in 2019. EPA’s announcement came days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration withdrew its own part of the interconnected rules, which the Trump administration implemented to block California from setting stronger pollution safeguards and fuel efficiency requirements.
California’s rules have an outsized impact on reducing climate pollution from the transportation sector, the country’s largest source of climate pollution, because thirteen states plus D.C. have adopted its standards — collectively representing more than one-third of the U.S. auto market. Advocates praised the announcement and renewed calls for accelerated pollution reductions. EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on June 2, and the public comment period will run until July 6. (Washington Post $, LA Times $, San Francisco Chronicle, Desert Sun, Mercury News, E&E $, Reuters, NBC, Bloomberg $, The Hill, Axios, The Verge, Politico Pro $, Detroit News, S&P Global; Advocates: E&E $)