Line-by-line: California’s lies about the Trump rollback of the Obama fuel economy standards

No, California will not be destroyed without the Obama fuel economy standards. In fact, it will improve.

California’s media statement is below and here. My comments are in [bold brackets].

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Governor Brown, Attorney General Becerra, and California Air Resources Board: At Every Turn, We Will Defend Our Nation’s Clean Car Emissions Standards

SACRAMENTO – California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary D. Nichols today expressed their strong opposition to the proposed rule from the Trump Administration that would eviscerate the current greenhouse gas emission standards for model year 2021-2026 vehicles and put in place weakened emission and fuel efficiency standards at the expense of public health, the economy and the environment. [False. The rollback does not threaten public health, the economy or the environment. In fact, by making us richer, the rollback improves all three — wealthier is healthier (and cleaner)!]

Instead of adopting maximum feasible standards to increase vehicle fuel efficiency, as federal law requires, the Administration is moving to freeze the standards at the 2020 level through model year 2026. Similarly, rather than addressing the pressing threat of climate change as the Clean Air Act mandates, the Administration is moving to freeze greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles for those same years. [False. The Clean Air Act does not mandate action on climate. The 2007 SCOTUS decision in Massachusetts v. EPA only permitted EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. There was no mandate.]

If enacted, this proposal will cost consumers billions of dollars in additional gasoline to run less efficient cars and light-duty trucks. [If not enacted, the Obama standards will force consumers to waste billions of dollars buying little, electric cars they don’t really want and don’t really accomplish anything.] It will also degrade air quality and put millions of additional tons of climate-disrupting pollution into the atmosphere. [False. Air quality will not be affected by the proposal. California air is clean and safe and will remain so.] The Trump Administration is also proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California more than five years ago for the State’s own greenhouse gas emissions standards and its successful zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) programs— an unprecedented and unlawful action that flies in the face of congressional intent and would aggravate the harms to consumers, public health, and the environment caused by the weakening of the federal standards. [The California waiver for greenhouse gases is ridiculous. The climate panic is called “global warming”, not California warming.] The Administration proposal would also block the many other states that use California standards from moving forward. [Yes. That is the idea.]

“For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere,” said Governor Brown. [Earth to Governor Moonbeam. It is not 1970 anymore. California’s air is clean and safe — and it actually was always safe.] “Under his reckless scheme, motorists will pay more at the pump, get worse gas mileage and breathe dirtier air. [We are awash in oil. If consumers pay more at the pump it is mostly because of high taxes and the goofy boutique fuels fuels required by regulation.] California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.” [Good luck.]

“The Trump Administration has launched a brazen and unlawful attack on our nation’s Clean Car Standards. [False. CO2 is not a pollutant.] The California Department of Justice will use every legal tool at its disposal to fight back,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our nation’s Clean Car Standards save consumers thousands of dollars, protect our families’ health, and ensure that we continue tackling climate change, the most important global environmental issue of our time. We are ready to do what is necessary to hold this Administration accountable.” [Leaving the Obama standards are estimated to avoid 0.008C of warming by 2100. That’s not even measurable.]

“At first glance, this proposal completely misrepresents costs and savings. It also relies on bizarre assumptions about consumer behavior to make its case on safety,” said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols. “CARB will examine all 978 pages of fine print to figure out how the Administration can possibly justify its absurd conclusion that weakening standards to allow dirtier, less efficient vehicles will actually save lives and money. Stay tuned for further comment. Meantime, California remains fully committed to a rigorous 50-state program with a full range of vehicle choices. That program is in effect right now and will remain so for the foreseeable future.” [New cars are safer — the average age of the US fleet is 12 years. People will buy more new cars if they are less expensive. It’s really pretty simple.]