California promises fight to keep auto emission authority

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Publication: ABC News / Associated Press

Preparing for a lengthy legal battle with the Trump administration about how much pollution to allow from cars, California regulators on Thursday said they were considering cracking down on other emissions to make up for any impacts on air quality.

The Trump administration on Thursday officially revoked California's authority to set its own emission standards — authority the state has had for decades under a waiver from the federal Clean Air Act.

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One California lawmaker is already working on a way to preserve at least some of the state's environmental muscle: rebates for electric cars.

California residents who buy or lease a zero-emission vehicle can get up to $7,000 from the state. A bill by Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting would mean people could only get that money if they buy a car from a company that has agreed to follow California's emission standards.

"We want to be incentivizing consumers to purchase from automakers that have aligned themselves with our state's overall goals," Ting said. "I think rebates are one tool. I'm sure the administration and the state will be looking at other tools that we have."