It seems like Environmental Protection Agency Director, Scott Pruitt, decided that in a world which carbon dioxide makes the air increasingly toxic, that California needs to choke on it.
California is not going down without a fight
The L.A. Times reports:
“The Trump administration is poised to abandon America’s pioneering fuel economy targets for cars and SUVs, a move that would undermine one of the world’s most aggressive programs to confront climate change and invite another major confrontation with California.”
California struggles with some of the worst air quality in the country. Images of Los Angeles enveloped in smog are etched into the minds of all environmentally concerned residents.
California’s children’s Lungs are not the EPA Director’s Priority
The L.A. Times describes where Pruitt’s concerns truly reside:
“EPA chief Scott Pruitt has previously suggested that he thinks the targets are too onerous for manufacturers and inhibit them from selling the vehicles most popular with Americans. A climate skeptic, Pruitt has questioned mainstream science on the warming caused by greenhouse gases such as auto emissions.”
President Trump and Pruitt worry more about choking the profits of automobile manufacturers than choking the children of California
However, California is not sitting idly by while the engines of industry run over the lungs of its citizens.
The Department of Energy previously set fuel efficiency targets geared to reduce CO2 emissions in conjunction with the EPA.
Reducing CO2 emissions is critical to reducing climate change
And California, which is threatened uniquely by air pollution and climate change, is granted special permission under the Clean Air Act to set their own standards.
Twelve other states adopted these same standards. Automobile manufacturers have utilized California’s regulations as the baseline for emission standards. This prevents those manufacturers from having to maintain more than one assembly line for their vehicles — thus reducing costs.
Pruitt throws down a frightening gauntlet
Reduce emission standards nationwide for-profit – setting up a showdown in the courts with California
Pruitt argues that improving fuel efficiency will increase the number of deaths nationwide if California does not roll back its standards.
The L.A. Times reports on this shocking new development from yesterday:
The agency [E.P.A.] is preparing to make the case that tough fuel economy rules could effectively force automakers to sell smaller, lighter and thus less crash-worthy vehicles. That, in turn, would lead to more crash-related deaths. And it warns the rules could drive up the cost of cars to the point that consumers will put off buying new, safer models equipped with life-saving technology improvements.
That’s right, Pruitt’s EPA would have Americans driving around in Dump Trucks for the sake of the children. This outdated logic is mind-numbing. It is a transparent deception to mask his real intention.
And that is to remain in the pocket of lobbyists for GM.
The L.A. Times makes clear California’s intention to not go down without a fight:
“The state is showing no sign of yielding. And the EPA chief is striking an increasingly hostile tone toward it, suggesting that he may seek to revoke the federal waiver that allows California to impose tougher rules than those of the federal government.
State leaders are daring him to try. They are confident it is a legal fight California would win.
‘We are not going to go backward,’ said California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra. “We are not interested in a race to the bottom…. We are prepared to take whatever action, legal or otherwise, we have to to protect our health and our economy.'”
The emission standard goals set under Obama are some of the most aggressive ever to combat greenhouse gases. Initiated in 2010 the mission is to cut those emissions in half by 2025.
Let’s rename the current EPA The “Environmental Pollution Agency”
Prioritizing corporate profit at virtually every turn, this nightmarish manifestation of the EPA bears no resemblance to its name. Pruitt systematically pounds down and grinds up any regulation that was historically designed to protect the environment. He spits out the bloody remains on behalf of automobile manufacturing lobbyists.
The deleterious impact of Pruitt’s efforts to surgically dismantle the EPA is tragic. The lungs of California’s children are not a battleground for General Motors to pad their bottom line.
If California is not successful in the courts confronting Pruitt’s draconian tactics, it most certainly begs the question…
What does “winning” actually mean?
The children of California and the entire nation deserve an answer that will not make them choke.
Featured Image: Pixabay/Public Domain