by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Trump administration will soon announce the end of negotiations with California regarding a proposed rollback of Obama-era fuel economy regulations, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. …
… The move comes as California leads a coalition of states suing to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration for the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s declaration allows him to divert more funding for a border wall, which California opposes.
The decision also comes on the heels of DOT announcing it canceled a $929 million grant for California’s high-speed rail line and is “exploring every legal option” to recoup $2.5 billion previously granted to the largely defunct project.
However, the source told TheDCNF the timing is not related to battles over border wall and high-speed rail funding. EPA and DOT officials are scrambling to finalize the rollback of Obama-era fuel economy regulations by the end of April, the source said. …
… In August, the Trump administration proposed freezing fuel economy standards at 37 miles per gallon in 2020 on grounds Obama-era standard raised car prices, forcing people to drive older, less safe vehicles.
The freeze would prevent about 1,000 traffic fatalities a year and save $500 billion in societal costs, according to EPA and DOT estimates. That proposal also laid the groundwork for EPA to revoke California’s ability to set its own tailpipe standards for carbon dioxide emissions.