Implications Of Trump’s California Air Quality Changes

Yesterday, in his ongoing fight to punish California for voting against him, President Donald Trump announced that he was removing California’s waiver to impose stricter automobile emission standards than the federal requirements. Unsurprisingly some of his rationales don’t make any sense but he made them just the same.

“The Trump Administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER,” Trump tweeted.

“Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” he added.

Of course California isn’t the only state that follows the California air quality requirements…at least 12 other states have adopted them as well. And this fact resulted in this statement from the head of the EPA:

“We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Tuesday.

Certainly California will appeal this and it will wend its way through the courts. But if the president prevails there…what will this actually mean for ‘federalism’?

Will this impact the growing trend for states to liberalize their cannabis laws? Will states have to revert to federal law which holds cannabis to be an illegal controlled substance? Will we see a whole new version of the ‘War On Drugs’?

Will this mean that the states who have recently passed more restrictive laws controlling women’s bodies and their access to safe abortions will be forced to revert to federal law and stick with the legacy role of Roe v. Wade?

This may seem like a little tiff between the president and the liberals in California, but this may be the Constitutional crisis we’ve all been expecting…federalism vs. states’ rights. Something we haven’t seen in a long while.


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