California defies Trump on climate change with new car emissions rules

A worker tests an emissions certification vehicle inside the California Air Resources Board Haagen-Smit Laboratory in El Monte, California, U.S. /Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

 

By Dale Kasler | Sacramento Bee

Defying the Trump administration on climate change, California’s air-pollution agency ruled Friday that automakers must comply with the state’s strict rules on greenhouse gases if they want to continue selling cars here.

The California Air Resources Board approved a regulation that will significantly curtail carbon spewed by new cars sold in the state, beginning in 2021.

The board’s vote is likely to intensify the state’s conflict with the Trump administration over greenhouse gases from cars, a fight that’s been brewing since shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

In August, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency said it plans to relax the standards on tailpipe emissions — and force California to accept the new national regulations. California has vowed to fight the EPA’s plan, in court if necessary, and Friday’s vote is intended to solidify the state’s opposition to the Trump regulations.

“This is California girding for that battle,” said Deborah Sivas, an environmental law professor at Stanford University.

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