Saturday, March 18, 2017

Scott Pruitt's next EPA target: Stripping California's best-in-the-country clean air protections (hunter) · Thursday, March 16, 2017, 9:31 pm

Now that the pro-pollution Scott Pruitt is running the Environmental Protection Agency, polluters expect big things from him. One of the big things they'd like is for the federal government to roll back auto emissions standards to allow America's cars to be more polluting. They'll probably be getting that, because Republicanism.

But that's still only a half-measure. True friends of air pollution also want Pruitt to step in and block the state of California from instituting their own anti-pollution efforts, because what's the point of turning conservative states into toxic hellholes if the state with the toughest emission rules in the country is still thwarting Scott Pruitt's will?

The New York Times reports "Automakers are also hopeful that the new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, will begin legal action to revoke California’s ability to enforce its tailpipe standards." Asked in his Senate confirmation hearing if he would leave the waiver process alone, Pruitt said, "I don’t know without going through the process to determine that. One would not want to presume the outcome."
Good news for environmental cheerleaders: Stripping California of its special status would require a change to the Clean Air Act—the kind of legislating a Democratic filibuster could derail.

At issue: California has been fighting auto-based smog and pollution for half a century now, and the state's then-notorious smog problems resulted in a special carve-out in the Clean Air Act allowing California to set stricter pollution rules than the federal ones. California has used that exemption to clean up the state in ways that any lifelong California resident can immediately identify.


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