Trump’s EPA Plays Both Sides of the Environment in California

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime recently moved to eliminate California's legal authority to set its own fuel economy standards for vehicles sold in the state and while that may seem like a position that is hostile to environmental regulation (it is), that doesn't mean the Trump regime is unwilling to use environmental regulation against the state.

Just a week after initially announcing the assault on California's fuel economy standards, Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is threatening the state over its smog problem.

The letter from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to California’s chief air quality regulator accused the state of having failed for decades to take required steps under the Clean Air Act, specifically allowing a backlog of more than 130 inactive smog-reduction plans to accumulate. [...]

Wheeler warned that if California did not withdraw its “backlogged and unapprovable” reports and work with the EPA to develop new ones, the administration could hand down sanctions that would mean cuts to highway funding and allow the federal government to impose its own restrictions.

A senior EPA official, speaking in a conference call with reporters on condition of anonymity, insisted the move was unrelated to the administration’s revocation of California’s car emissions waiver and was only meant to bring California into compliance with federal smog standards.

And what better way to reduce smog than to increase fuel economy standards for the millions of cars and trucks that clog California's highways?

The state's Air Resources Board chairwoman, Mary Nichols, responded to the EPA's threat by pointing out that high fuel economy standards are needed to fight smog. EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler responded to Nichols by saying smog is the state's own problem. And, I mean, no shit? That's the whole point!

Any reasonable person could look at the Trump regime's actions and infer that the goal is not responsible stewardship of the environment or even necessarily to promote the interest of businesses that are actually are on state's side.

The only clear goal here is to fuck with California.

You know, to own the libs.

  • Draxiar

    So the trump regime is using the smog in California citing it as a problem for which funds are being withheld but also declares that they can’t do what they need to do to mitigate the smog problem.

    Beatings will continue until morale improves.

  • muselet

    As I’ve observed before, Donald Trump hates California. We didn’t vote for him, and our economy is perking along better than those of R-run states. (I think it was New York Magazine that suggested Trump hates the state because the entertainment industry didn’t go along with his dream to become a … *ahem* … mogul.) Therefore, we must be crushed.

    For Andrew Wheeler, of all people, to pearl-clutch over paperwork violations of the Clean Air Act is risible. Neither he nor his boss care the slightest bit about air quality, in California or anywhere else. The Clean Air Act is simply being used as a club by the Trump administration.

    The lawsuits should be interesting.


    • Christopher Foxx

      We didn’t vote for him, and our economy is perking along better than those of R-run states.

      As has been the case for decades. Blue states are better off in most all measures than reds.