When the Clean Air Act was passed, the law specifically forbade individual states from setting their own standards. The reasoning was that uniformity in standards was paramount if the law was going to be enforceable. But Congress made an exception to the overall rule. If a state can show its rules are at least as effective as the national rules and are necessary “to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions,” then the law requires the EPA to grant a waiver. Ever since 1968, California has operated as a one-state fiefdom, getting waiver after waiver. Because of the size of California’s auto market, California standards have basically become national standards.
The current issue really started around 2002 when California decided to regulate “greenhouse gases” (GHG) spewed into the otherwise pristine California atmosphere by automobiles. Their special status in regards to emissions waivers effectively allowed them to begin imposing their climate idolatry on the nation.
Now multiple sources are reporting that the Administration will release the proposed rule changes this week:
The Trump administration will seek to revoke California’s authority to regulate automobile emissions — including its mandate for electric car sales — in a proposed revision of Obama-era standards, according to three people familiar with the plan.