This question, proposed by the Washington Post yesterday, might be answered soon because on Friday (March 25) last week, California’s agency in charge of creating legislation promoting clean air voted to create stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks. This legislation, which would require automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025, would be going directly against the Trump administration’s plan, setting up a potential legal battle.
The agency that voted this way was the California Air Resources Board and voted to create this legislation to reduce planet-warming gases. This resistance to Trump is not shocking however, because many politicians in California, from the governor down to local mayors, have spoken about resisting President Trump’s policies.
The Trump Administration is more concerned about the success of industry over environmental concerns. The administration believes that easing emission regulations would help stimulate auto manufacturing.
California is able to create its own emissions standards because of a rule under the Clean Air Act which gives California the ability to greatly affect the auto market. Not only would this be prioritizing environmental concerns over business concerns in California, but in twelve other states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.because these states follow California’s standards.
My questions to you guys are do you believe that California is right to stand up to the Trump Administration regarding these requirements placed on the automaking industry? Is it right for a state government to go against the wishes of the President of the United States? Do you think that the Californian government is right to prioritize environmental concerns over industry?
I personally believe that since there is legislation in place that allows California to create these environmental policies, then it is correct to create these policies, despite what the Trump Administration wants. Normally, I would believe that states do have an obligation to support the president, but in this case, the environmental stakes are way too high to not actively take steps to prevent the degradation of our planet. While in the long run California’s environmental concerns over industrial concerns might harm a significant portion of the state’s population, I believe that in the long run California is making the right decision.