Trump’s war on California continues: Threats to cut-off highway funds

After revoking California’s ‘tailpipe waiver,’ the Trump administration has threatened to cut-off highway funds to the state unless they “rapidly address a decades-long backlog of state-level pollution control plans.”

Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, sent a letter to California Air Resources Board (CARB) saying the state has the worst air quality in the US and must work with the administration to devise a plan to reduce its air pollution and backlog of previous plans for compliance dating back to the 1970s.

The letter ‘recommends’ that CA put together a new plan to comply with air pollution standards or face ‘highway funding sanctions.’ CA has until October 10th to respond to the EPA’s demands.

California and 22 other states filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday against the Trump administration, challenging its decision to revoke the most-populous state’s right to set pollution limits on cars and light trucks.

In fact, one of the key legal arguments made by the California lawsuit last week is that those tailpipe standards are required for the state to control emissions of the other pollutants, like soot and smog, at levels required to meet even federal standards.

“We need the extra clean cars to meet the standards set by the federal government,” Mary Nichols, California’s top clean air regulator, said at a news conference last week. “If this prevails, millions of people in California will breathe dirty air. There will be more pollution, more asthma, more hospitalizations, more premature deaths.”

Mr. Trump, who was surprised and angered by that announcement, (of the lawsuit against his administration) according to two people familiar with the matter, has since sought to push policies that would punish California.

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