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California has been able to set tougher state-level standards than those put forth by the federal government since 1970.
The Trump administration is expected on Wednesday to formally revoke California’s legal authority to set tailpipe pollution rules that are stricter than federal rules, in a move designed by the White House to strike twin blows against both the liberal-leaning state that President Trump has long antagonized and the environmental legacy of President Barack Obama.
A revocation of the California waiver would have national significance. Thirteen other states follow California’s tighter standards, together representing roughly a third of the national auto market.
Because of that, the fight over federal auto emissions rules has the potential to split the United States auto market, with some states adhering to stricter pollution standards than others. For automakers, that represents a nightmare scenario.