Trump Ends Vehicle Emissions Negotiations Before They Begin

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When The Trumpeter got elected, US car makers were jubilant. At last, someone would save them from the big bad Obamans who wanted to force them to build cars that wouldn’t threaten the environment and strangle people with their exhaust products. What about profits? What about freedom? To hear the companies tell it, environmental regulations were down right unAmerican.

car exhaust emissionsThey begged Washington to roll back the hated Obama era regulations but the Trumpies gave them more than they asked for — a total abrogation of any plans to lower exhaust emissions from 2020 levels. Officially, as of this very minute, America has no plan to clean up auto emissions past next year. Let Europe drive its auto industry over a cliff with Level 6 pollution rules. Let China distort its automotive market with burdensome requirements to build electric cars.

In America, we are free to put a lip lock on the tailpipe of an Escalade if we choose to. It’s right there in the Constitution — somewhere. In the meantime, car makers will be forced to build cars for two different standards, the last thing in the world they wanted.

Andrew Wheeler Isn’t Worried About Protecting You

According to a report by Reuters, EPA head Andrew Wheeler, whose claim to fame on environmental matters is that he was once a lobbyist for the coal industry, meet with Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, two weeks ago, but there were no substantive discussions at that time.

According to CARB spokesman Stanley Young. “The administration broke off communications before Christmas and never responded to our suggested areas of compromise — or offered any compromise proposal at all. We concluded at that point that they were never serious about negotiating.” A confidential source tells Reuters EPA officials did not work on the rule during the government shutdown. “There was no real effort to get to yes,” the source said.

Fiat Chrysler declined a request from Reuters for a comment. General Motors and the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers did not respond to a request for comment. Ford’s president of global operations, Joe Hinrichs, said the company was “disappointed” in reports the talks had fallen apart. “The auto industry needs regulatory certainty, not protracted litigation,” he said in a statement. Well, yeah, you jumping jackass. You and your pals tried to undercut the rules process and got burned. And now you want our sympathy?

What Happens Now?

There are a number of crosscurrents swirling around at the moment. The Blitherer in Chief is demanding “retribution” against NBC for having the effrontery to air a scathing satire of his press conference last week declaring a fake national emergency at the US-Mexico border. This week, the federal government has announced plans to force California to repay up to $3 billion in funds parceled out over the years to build a high speed rail link between Los Angeles and the Central Valley.

Retribution is what Dictator Trump does best. He refuses to represent all the citizens of the United States in his quest to please his so-called “base” of white male haters, like the Coast Guard Lieutenant arrested this week with over 15 assault rifles and 1,000 rounds of ammunition who planned to assassinate Democratic members of Congress and media figures. That’s your base right there, Donny. You must be very proud of what you have accomplished.

California has refused to knuckle under to the alleged president, opposing him on legalized marijuana and making California a sanctuary state for illegal aliens. Now Trump sees his chance to get even. The Golden State has spearheaded the movement to make cars pollute less for the past 40 years, convincing 18 other states to join in along the way. Now the maladministration will try to rupture that cooperation between the states.

Watch for it to move to abrogate California’s special status under the Clean Air Act that allows it to impose exhaust emissions rules that are tougher than federal standards. Trump has a truckload of retribution in store for California which needs to be punished for its progressive, socialist ways. It will be up to the courts to sort it all out, but with Trump’s plan to pack the federal courts with Federalist Society stooges well underway, progressives should take nothing for granted.

The Union Of Concerned Scientists Weighs In

In an e-mail to CleanTechnica, Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, gave the following statement:

The Trump administration has made it clear that their insistence on weaker emissions and efficiency standards takes priority over everything else—including law, science and the public interest. Trump officials have been so determined to gut these standards that they never really negotiated with California in good faith in the first place.

There’s no question that California has the authority to set its own vehicle standards and that states can choose to adopt those standards. In fact, the growing set of states that have chosen strong standards makes up a third of the U.S. auto market, and even if the Trump administration decides to abandon this common-sense policy, these states will keep their own strong standards in place and challenge the Trump administration’s attacks.

These standards are working. Year after year, they’ve delivered improvements in efficiency for every size of passenger vehicle. They’ve saved drivers more than $77 billion at the pump and they’re one of the most effective climate policies on the books. The Trump administration has ignored the facts—including the research of its own agency scientists—and premised its rollback on laughably bad arguments.

Today, we have one national standard, carefully negotiated by states, automakers and federal agencies. By walking away from the negotiating table, the administration has endangered that national policy and all of the benefits it has delivered, ensuring a long court battle and uncertainty for America’s automakers in an increasingly emissions-conscious global market. The Trump administration only has itself to blame for the harm that results.

Paul J. Miller, executive director of the Northeast States For Coordinated Air Use Management, also contacted us with the following message. “Given the unmistakable evidence that impacts from a changing climate are worsening — from record-breaking heat waves, to mega-forest fires, to extreme hurricanes — walking back from what is effectively the federal government’s biggest climate mitigation program poses a real threat to public health and welfare. In spite of the federal government’s actions today, our states will continue to use every tool in the toolbox to do more, not less, to address harmful emissions from cars and trucks.”

Your Government Wants To Kill You. Are You OK With That?

Ever since Ronnie Rayguns joked about “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” it has become fashionable to blame every one of society’s ills on government. Yuck it up, people. The joke’s on you. Your government wants to kill you, your family, and your grandchildren. It wants to turn the country over to corporate polluters and prevent you from doing anything to protect yourself from their actions.

Just this week, the White House announced that its representative to a new panel on climate change will be William Happer, a Princeton physicist who is notorious for questioning the science on climate change and arguing that carbon dioxide is actually good for people. Do you need any more proof how low Trump will stoop to stab the American people in the back?

Lots of Americans are OK with Trump and his assault on reason and logic because, you know, at least he is protecting white people. Which leads to this bit of advice: “Be careful what you wish for, people, you might just get it.” Again and again.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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