After two-plus years of preparation, President Trump tweeted Wednesday that the US Environmental Protection Agency would revoke California’s ability to set its own fuel efficiency rules—a power that the state has used for decades to strongarm automakers into building more efficient vehicles. According to the EPA, an official announcement will come Thursday.
If the administration succeeds, revoking the waiver would be the first step in a nationwide rollback of standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy. Since the 2016 election, the administration has made clear that it hopes to repeal rules created by the Obama administration that would require automakers to gradually increase their fleetwide fuel economy through 2025. The Obama-era rules are the result of a multi-agency, multi-automaker haggling process in 2009, just after the administration bailed out automakers damaged by the financial crisis. California agreed to those rules, too. But now the Trump administration wants to undo that agreement, and California officials likely would not go along.