Aside from all the calls on the political left for President Trump’s scalp through impeachment — which may come into focus soon — other subjects deserve comment.
Last week Mr. Trump rightfully said he will revoke California’s plan to set its own tailpipe emissions standards — all in the name of global warming.
Despite promises from California’s elected officials to take the issue to court with allegations that he is serving big oil companies, the federal government — not California, not Michigan, not Rhode Island, not North Carolina, or any other state, is the only entity that should have the power to dictate standards requiring vehicle manufacturers to adhere to nationwide standards. It should not, nor should it have ever been, an individual state that could legally decree its own specific, individual, criteria.
Were that the case, what is to stop each of America’s 50 states from creating their own climate regulations? Nothing.
Admittedly, California, and California alone, has been exempt from federal regulations setting limitations on pollutants from vehicles. While that should have never been permitted, it’s time for change.
Under the Obama administration, which is no surprise that such occurred, California lobbied and obtained permission from the federal government to set its own policy regarding vehicle emissions. Which, because acceding to California’s demands, vehicle manufacturers had to build cars and trucks that met California’s priorities, which were higher than national standards and thus a nationwide price hike on vehicles for all consumers.
Commenting that the waiver should go, National Review said the Trump administration should also nix the Obama-era rules that required fuel economy to hit nearly 55 miles per gallon on average by 2025, “a far-fetched goal that could force car companies to sell electric vehicles at a loss to bring down the average fuel economy of their overall fleets. Freezing the standards after next year, as the administration plans to do, could reduce the future price of a car by thousands of dollars — and also reduce motor vehicle fatalities because one way carmakers increase fuel efficiency is to make cars lighter and more dangerous.”
Pointing out that nothing stops car companies from making more fuel efficient cars if Americans want to buy and are willing to pay for them — and several companies have already struck a deal with California to do just that — “the government,” adds National Review, “should not force the industry to meet unreasonable standards, force customers to pay for it, or allow California to set national policy.”
America’s federal government should and must be the rule setter when it comes to national standards.