President Donald Trump has been working hard at erasing his predecessor’s phone-and-pen legacy.

His latest rollback of Obam-era inanity focuses on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its new plans for fuel economy standards.

The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles, handing a victory to car manufacturers and giving them ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide.

The move — which undercuts one of President Barack Obama’s signature efforts to fight climate change — would also propel the Trump administration toward a courtroom clash with California, which has vowed to stick with the stricter rules even if Washington rolls back federal standards. That fight could end up creating one set of rules for cars sold in California and the 12 states that follow its lead, and weaker rules for the rest of the states, in effect splitting the nation into two markets.

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected to frame the initiative as eliminating a regulatory burden on automakers that will result in more affordable trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles for buyers, according to people familiar with the plan.

Essentially, Pruitt intends to eventually replace the standard’s goals implemented by Team Obama that were inspired by the unsound and unachievable California guidelines with values that are rational and practical.

Auto makers are pleased at the new direction:

Manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors initially agreed to the rules as part of a much-heralded agreement, but they later reversed course, arguing that the rules would be too expensive and would threaten U.S. jobs, especially as American motorists begin switching from smaller, fuel-efficient sedans and hybrids to more gas-hungry SUVs and pickups.

The announcement of the rollback plan is essentially the opening of negotiations to help American automakers.

The internal negotiations over relaxing carbon-emissions limits for cars and SUVs slated to be sold in model years 2022 to 2025 underscore the challenge officials face in trying to fulfill President Trump’s 2017 promise to ease the regulatory burden on Detroit.

Some of the same companies that had pressed for action worry that they will be forced to comply with two standards: the stricter specifications that California imposes on its massive auto market and a separate requirement for the rest of the country.

…[T]he more difficult issue is what the replacement will be — a point of intense wrangling among the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and White House. The talks have been complicated by the fact that California sets the pace for nearly 35 percent of the nation’s auto market, with tailpipe requirements followed by a dozen states and the District.

Of course, California’s anti-Trump green activists are asserting the reversal is going to mean another dark era of evil pollution. They are declaring war on Trump…again. This chestnut is from the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board:

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed 28 lawsuits against the Trump administration — a mind-boggling two a month on average — and his mixed success so far suggests some of his efforts are more political statements than surefire winners. But if Becerra sues the administration over its attempt to force California to weaken its vehicle emissions and fuel standards, that won’t be a political fight. It will be a fight to stave off disaster….

I will simply point out that Becerra may be a bit busy, defending California from the “Sanctuary State” lawsuit filed by over a dozen other states and a number of California’s pesky, independent regions.

Furthermore, unlike the sulfur and nitrogen oxides that were substantial factors in LA Basin’s pollution years ago, plants thrive on carbon dioxide. There is plenty of consensus for this bit of science.

The US Commerce Department has just reported that the nation’s economy expanded at a rate of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, which is very close to President Trump’s goal of 3 percent growth.

The reversal of Obama’s economy-crushing rules is a contributing factor to our enhanced prosperity. President Trump should get a lot of mileage out of this fact when he runs for re-election in 2020.


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