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  • The move will allow attacks on California while the Trump administration will keep on finalizing its federal fuel economy and emissions regulations.

    The move will allow attacks on California while the Trump administration will keep on finalizing its federal fuel economy and emissions regulations. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 September 2019

The move is likely to activate a long legal battle between the involved authorities.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)is set to revoke California’s authority to regulate gas emissions from automobiles, according to sources familiar with the matter Tuesday. 

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The sources said the announcement could be made as soon as this Wednesday, and mark another increase in the rising tensions between the state of California and U.S. President Donald Trump's administration. 

Trump administration's plan to freeze federal emission standards, a rollback of tightened standards created by the former Obama administration, could have led to two auto markets in the U.S., one subject to more restrictive California regulations and another linked to significantly less stringent federal standards.

One of the sources added that plans for the announcement are still being discussed and could change, and is likely to activate a long legal battle between the involved authorities.

“California will continue its advance toward a cleaner future. We’re prepared to defend the standards that make that promise a reality,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

Whereas Andrew Wheeler, the EPA’s administrator told the National Automobile Dealers Association that they “will be moving forward with one national standard very soon." However, the agency did not respond to request for comment. 

Dan Becker, director of the Center for Auto Safety’s Safe Climate Campaign, said the move is an attack on states’ authority to set their own air pollution standards that he called a centerpiece of the Clean Air Act.

“It is hypocritical for the administration to encourage states to block some of their people from going to the polls, but then forbid states from protecting their people from auto pollution,” Becker added.

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