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Trump fires first shot in California car wars

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Trump fires first shot in California car war

Donald Trump has declared an energy war on California.

The administration on Thursday proposed freezing the vehicle fuel efficiency standards sought by the Obama administration and moved to end California's power to enforce its own rules, setting off a legal fight that could create a schism among red and blue states over the pollution regulations for new cars and pickups.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement the proposal aimed to strike a balance "that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less. More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment."

But Democrats and U.S. automakers warned that forcing a conflict with California will create a split where states that follow California's lead will have tighter mileage requirements than the federal standard, creating a patchwork of regulations that will hamper the development of the next generation of cars and light trucks.

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