In California vs. the EPA, it’s the state that’s fighting to protect the environment

President Trump and the auto industry are teaming up to roll back gas mileage and emissions rules that would deliver a new car fleet in 2025 averaging 36 mpg in real-world driving. Fortunately, California — and a dozen other states — insist we need to keep the tough standard, which is the biggest single step ever taken against climate change.

The Trump administration’s counter-arguments make as much sense as buying a pickup truck to haul your latte home from Starbucks.

California’s leadership role grows out of its historic smog problems. Under the 1970 Clean Air Act, it is allowed to set air pollution rules tighter than the federal government’s. Relying on that authority in 2002, the state adopted a law to reduce cars’ carbon dioxide emissions. Twelve states, mostly in the Northeast, followed California’s lead. Because automakers didn’t want to build cars under two sets of rules, they negotiated with the Obama administration in 2009 to set strong U.S. standards that California accepted.

On Monday, embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced plans to trash it — and he has repeatedly threatened to revoke California’s authority to set tougher rules than Washington.

How do the carmakers feel? Some publicly claim they oppose this rollback — never mind that their lobbyists stood beside Pruitt on Monday. And privately, their chief executives pitched the cuts to Trump in the White House days after he took office.

Click here to read the full article from The Los Angeles Times.