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Trump revokes waiver for California to set higher auto emissions standards

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he was revoking California’s authority to set its own vehicle emission standards, the latest move in the Trump administration’s ongoing fight with the Golden State and attempts to chip away at former President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy.

“The Trump Administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER,” Trump tweeted.

He made the announcement while visiting California for fundraisers. He was in his hotel in Los Angeles when he sent the tweets.

“This will lead to more production because of this pricing and safety advantage, and also due to the fact that older, highly polluting cars, will be replaced by new, extremely environmentally friendly cars,” he wrote in an additional tweet. “There will be very little difference in emissions between the California Standard and the new U.S. Standard, but the cars will be far safer and much less expensive.”

“Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” he added.

California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act allowed it to set standards tighter than the federal standards, which have been adopted by more than a dozen states and became the de-facto nationwide standard, because automakers do not design different sets of vehicles to meet different standards in different states.

“We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Tuesday.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has already said he will challenge the move in court and accused the Trump administration of “a political vendetta.”

“It’s a move that could have devastating consequences for our kids’ health and the air we breathe, if California were to roll over,” Newsom said Tuesday. “But we will not — we will fight this latest attempt and defend our clean car standards.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Correction: The headline has been changed to correctly state that the waiver allowed California to set higher emissions standards.

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Author: Kevin Liptak, CNN
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