California prepares for war with Trump over environment

California is one of the most progressive US states on climate issues
California is one of the most progressive US states on climate issues

California, one of the most progressive in the US on climate issues, is heading toward a legal showdown with the Trump administration over its environmental policies.

The battle is shaping up as President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday rolling back key Obama-era measures to combat .

Trump insists the order will benefit American workers, notably coal miners.

But the measure has environmental groups and officials in California—which has led the fight to curb change and has the largest automobile market in the country—up in arms and vowing a showdown.

"Gutting #CPP is a colossal mistake and defies science itself," California Governor Jerry Brown said in a tweet, referring to the Clean Power Plan aimed at curbing global warming.

"Erasing climate change may take place in Donald Trump's mind, but nowhere else," he added.

Brown has led California's climate change crusade, which saw the state in the last decade significantly slash its yearly climate-warming emissions by about 35 million metric tons.

It has pledged to cut them even further by 2020, with other states looking to follow suit.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Brown in saying on Tuesday that Trump would meet with fierce resistance over his new directive.

"No matter what happens in Washington, we will work to meet our Sustainable City Plan goal to reduce 80 percent by 2050, move toward zero emissions transportation, and pursue our vision of a 100 percent clean energy future," the mayor said.

Although the federal government sets emission standards for cars in the United States, that is not the case in car-crazy California. In 1970, the state struck an agreement to adopt stricter air quality rules to combat the smog that plagues the vast Los Angeles metropolitan area.

"Gutting #CPP is a colossal mistake and defies science itself," California Governor Jerry Brown said in a tweet, refer
"Gutting #CPP is a colossal mistake and defies science itself," California Governor Jerry Brown said in a tweet, referring to the Clean Power Plan aimed at curbing global warming
Scientific evidence best proof

While the auto industry initially pushed back at the stricter measures, today the state has more than half of the plug-in electric cars in the country.

But there are fears that this could change, should Trump—who has called global warming a hoax—direct the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back on the state's special waiver for tougher emissions rules.

California leaders have already said that they would not go down without a fight and have vowed to push forth with even stricter measures.

Experts say Trump could very well rescind the waiver—which would lead to fierce legal battles—or adopt new federal regulations without challenging those of California and 13 other states that have adopted the same stringent clean air standards as California.

"The third option is to go to Congress to revoke the Clean Air Act and that's what we fear the most," said Stanley Young, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board.

Cara Horowitz, co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA, said that while it is impossible to predict the outcome of a showdown between California and the Trump administration, the state's track record in combatting pollution was a plus.

"My sense is that California has a long history of aggressively regulating pollution and getting these waivers," she said.

As to the new EPA chief Scott Pruitt's declared skepticism about climate change, experts say that in the end, scientific data will prove the best defense.

"The fact that he denies it doesn't change the science or the law," Young said.

He added that nonetheless Pruitt may prove a savvy adversary given his legal background in suing the EPA repeatedly as attorney general of Oklahoma.

"He knows exactly how the agency works and what you can do to do the most damage," Young said. "We thought he was going to use a hammer and instead he chose to use a scalpel."


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California lawmakers don't think this fight is emission impossible

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Mar 29, 2017
The fundamental issue here is that climate change is both real, AND used to support a whole bunch of economically senseless, harmful and ineffective legislation that serve only small special interest groups.

The climate change is a great rhetorical weapon, because the hidden assumption is that any and all action for the climate cause is automatically right action. If you question the real agenda to be something else, such as crony capitalists making bank on lavish subsidies without providing any sustainable solutions, the answer is immediately "Why do you want to destroy the world?", or, "The scientific consensus is on our side".

The climate propagandists have basically pushed the opposition into a corner: if you accept climate change, you must accept whatever they try to sell. As the common people observe snake oil being sold by appealing to science, they make an astute observation: from truth does not follow falsehood, therefore climate change isn't true.

Mar 29, 2017
The thing that I don't understand is that, California is a State. If THEY want to enact stricter rules and legislation regarding pollution, etc, they can DO IT. The federal government makes Federal Laws, and the State makes State Laws. Make whatever state laws you want, California.

Republican and Democratic leadership is like a season, or the jetstream. It blows one way for a while, then it shifts and goes the other way for a while. Some Democratic leadership will come along and negate things that Trump is doing, just as Trump is negating some of the things Obama did. I suppose this is how America works, with a 2 party system.

Mar 29, 2017
If THEY want to enact stricter rules and legislation regarding pollution, etc, they can DO IT.


It's not that simple. States can't create their own competing emissions standards, and California has a special waiver from the EPA to do so. It's a feature of the Clean Air Act.

https://www.epa.g...izations
The Clean Air Act allows California to seek a waiver of the preemption which prohibits states from enacting emission standards for new motor vehicles. EPA must grant a waiver, however, before California's rules may be enforced.

EPA shall grant a waiver unless the Administrator finds that California:

-was arbitrary and capricious in its finding that its standards are, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards;
-does not need such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions

Mar 30, 2017
The rest of the nation can wallow in their own filth.

We would rather not.

Mar 31, 2017
The rest of the nation can wallow in their own filth


There goes the "why do you want to destroy the world?" rhetoric jab.

The new emissions regulations are just playing with fractions of fractions while the cost of the equipment goes up exponentially as there are no good alternatives to internal combustion engines.

Consider for example farm tractors:
http://blog.casei...raph.jpg

Farmers are now facing trouble repairing their own equipment, as repairs have to be "signed off" by a company tech to prevent the emissions controls from being tampered with.

They have to buy DEF (adblue) at $3-5 a gallon to neutralize NOx, and have EGR and particulate filters, which cause the exhaust of the machines to run hotter especially during filter regeneration, which has caused tractors and fields to catch fire.

And for what? Off-road vehicles such as farm tractors are only 11% of all vehicles emissions. The impact is neglible.

Mar 31, 2017
The point is, you can't just keep tightening the thumbscrew and expect to hit zero emissions because there's still the thumb in between there and it can only get so flat before it really starts to hurt.

So whose interest does it serve to make up tighter and tighter emissions regulations that have no meaningful real impact on actual emissions?

As the devices become more complex and expensive, transportation becomes more and more expensive which reflects in goods and services prices, people go out of business and the harm done to the society is greater than the benefit of smaller and smaller reductions in pollution.

A more sensible solution would be to let the emissions be, and focus on creating the alternative that doesn't produce emissions. Then once that is available, you tell everyone to switch over. It may be that you can't make farm tractors run on batteries or hydrogen or whatever, so you may have to just accept that there will be some emissions and deal with it.

Apr 01, 2017
@Eikka makes some interesting arguments as to why the status quo is better than taking a government action(s) against climate change.

The new emissions regulations are just playing with fractions of fractions while the cost of the equipment goes up exponentially as there are no good alternatives to internal combustion engines.


Actually, you are wrong. There is a clean all electric alternative that could exist if mankind had the determination to switch. Basically look at oil-gas-coal as fuel 1.0 and electric as Fuel 2.0. We just need to change versions. It's an upgrade. Sure there will be bumps on the road to the upgrade, but we can work them out.



Apr 08, 2017
Actually, you are wrong. There is a clean all electric alternative that could exist if mankind had the determination to switch


Tell me when you can till your fields with a battery powered tractor.

Of course it's "possible". Back in the late 19th century they envisioned farms with overhead lines criss-crossing the fields so the tractor could operate like a trolleybus.

why the status quo is better than taking a government action(s) against climate change.


Either you sit, or you stand. Trying to hover awkwardly midway gets hard on the legs in a short order, and accomplishes nothing.

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