Trump threatens EPA action against San Francisco over homeless crisis

Clay Curtis
September 20, 2019

One day after his EPA administrator vowed to revoke California's waiver from the 1970 law in "the very near future", Trump made the announcement via a series of tweets. California's waiver under the Clean Air Act allowed it to set standards tighter than the federal government's, 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 standards in different states.

"The risk obviously to Canada is that if we don't make our own decision right now, and USA regulations for light-duty vehicles change, ours will automatically be rolled back", said Isabelle Turcotte, director of federal policy at the Pembina Institute. "They're in serious violation", Trump said.

Andrew Wheeler, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, told auto manufacturers on Tuesday that the administration is moving toward a single "national standard" for vehicle fuel efficiency, an apparent swipe at California's recent landmark agreement with four major automakers to impose stricter standards.

California's standards have largely become the de-facto standard nationwide because auto manufacturers do not design different sets of vehicles to meet different standards in different states.

Newsom also said the roll back of fuel efficiency standards will disadvantage the companies in the global market. California is pressing ahead with a plan to raise the average mileage of the US auto fleet to 50 miles per gallon by model year 2026, and 13 other states and the District have pledged to adopt those standards. The Associated Press reported that his office informed the OMB that what Trump is attempting to do with auto emission standards would likely result in the deaths of 17 Americans per year.

U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a notice in less than a week to the city of San Francisco on its homeless and other issues.

The president said the revocation would ultimately be good for the environment as well as consumers.

"The rule will not force automakers to spend billions of dollars to build cars that American consumers do not want to buy or drive", said Chao. The state accounts for about 12 percent of all vehicle sales.

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All told, 47% of all unsheltered homeless people nationwide - meaning those who sleep in areas not meant for habitation, such as sidewalks, parks, cars and abandoned buildings, rather than in shelters - live in the Golden State, according to a new report on homelessness from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The U.S. transportation sector is the nation's biggest single source of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

That same month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would end rules limiting carbon emissions on new coal plants, soon after the president dismissed a report by his own government warning of future devastating economic consequences to the United States from climate change.

Whether that actually will happen as claimed is far from certain. And the Trump administration is trying to backslide from those standards. "Electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, more fuel-efficient cars and whatnot", Adriaens says.

The other parts of the proposed fuel economy and emissions changes are still in the works.

"The voters that he's targeting in rural America look at California as an out-of-touch liberal state", Republican consultant Alex Conant said.

That seems unlikely. Even without final details of the Trump Administration's mileage rule cuts, opponents have been weighing in with sharp criticism. Experts say that the Trump administration's changes will disrupt the companies' production plans, which are years in the making, and make it hard to plan beyond what's likely to be a protracted legal battle between the administration and blue states - and the 2020 election, says Professor Peter Adriaens of the University of MI. "For us, this is about survival". "Our communities are screaming for help to address the climate crisis".

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