The Problems with Trump Trying to Lower the California Emission Standards

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Jillian Para, Writer

In 1968, California passed the Clean Air Act. This Act allows for California to set and regulate their own vehicle emissions standards while the rest of the states followed the federal standards. California did this because there was a high risk for air pollution and smog at the time. The Clean Air Act also supported the environment by lowering the greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere, as 20% of greenhouse gases are the result of vehicles. 

Trump announced that he was going to revoke this long standing waiver that was agreed upon almost 50 years ago. Trump claims that this will result with cheaper and safer cars. However, EPA officials believe that lowering the gas emission standards will have the opposite outcome and it will increase highway accidents. Trump also feels it is unfair and unequal that California has a separate standards than the rest of the country. This statement makes sense from most Americans’ perspectives, but California does not want this Act to be revoked and is completely fine with their high standards.

During Obama’s presidency, the standards were raised drastically, which sparked some fear in car companies. His goal was to raise the standards of cars to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Trump’s new goal with these standards is to lower it to 37 miles per gallon after 2020.

The main reason lowering these standards scares California has to do with the concerns of our future generations. If Trump lowers California’s standards, it will put future children at high risk of not having clean air and can have some major health effects. If California’s clean air is disrupted, it can also take a toll on it’s flow of tourism that comes into the state. Citizens across the United States admire California’s beautiful coast. California’s tourism also builds up the economy and without this flow of income, there could be consequences. 

If the Clean Air Act is revoked and California is harmed by air pollution, the effects will not be immediate and that is why officials have grown concern for California’s future generations.

These repercussions of lowering these emission standards outweighs the possible benefits such as cheaper cars and the “equality” among the states. 

California is not going down without a fight. Officials announced that they would be taking this feud to court. Many predict a long and fierce court battle will be taking shape within the next few months between California and the Trump Administration.