23 US Governors Join Calif. in Opposing Trump Mileage Freeze - NBC Bay Area

23 US Governors Join Calif. in Opposing Trump Mileage Freeze

The governors' pledge on Tuesday commits to sticking to the pre-Trump mileage goals — a program of annual tightening in mileage standards that reduce climate-changing carbon emissions

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    23 US Governors Join Calif. in Opposing Trump Mileage Freeze
    Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on "America's environmental leadership" during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 8, 2019.

    Citing climate-damaging tailpipe emissions, 23 governors signed a pledge Tuesday backing California leaders in their showdown with the Trump administration over its plans to relax vehicle mileage standards.

    The pledge by leaders of states and Puerto Rico, most of them Democrats, comes as the administration seeks to ease tougher mileage standards laid out by former President Barack Obama as part of his efforts against climate change. Legal challenges to Trump's policy proposal threaten to disrupt the auto industry for years, and an influential auto industry trade group is renewing its appeal for the compromise.

    The administration says American consumers increasingly want bigger, less-efficient SUVs and pickup trucks . It argues that demanding ever-more fuel-efficient vehicles will drive up automobile costs and keep less-safe, older vehicles on the road longer; opponents challenge that claim.

    The administration is expected to release its final rules on the mileage changes in late summer or early fall. California and other states have promised litigation to block them.

    Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Violence Escalates

    [NATL] Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Protest Violence Escalates

    Hong Kong’s government is refusing to compromise after one pro-democracy protester was shot and another set on fire in a rare weekday protest. The five-month protest has seen a steady rise in violence, with both pro-democracy protesters and the Hong Kong government refusing to give ground.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2019)

    The governors' pledge commits to sticking broadly to the pre-President Donald Trump mileage goals, a program of annual tightening in mileage standards that reduce climate-changing carbon emissions. Transportation and the power sector are the largest sources of heat-trapping fossil fuel pollution in the U.S.

    Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Michael Abboud said the administration was "pursuing one national standard to provide safe, affordable vehicles for consumers while also improving environmental outcomes."

    At stake is California's ability to set its own emissions and fuel economy standards, a power granted by Congress in the Clean Air Act to combat the state's smog problems in the 1970s. The state at one time had more stringent standards than federal ones, but the two sides voluntarily synced their standards under Obama.

    The Trump administration has threatened to challenge California's authority to set its own mileage standards, which are followed by about a dozen states.

    The pledge says governors "will not compromise on our responsibility to protect the health of our communities, our climate, and the savings consumers stand to gain at the pump." It promises "additional concrete actions to fulfill this duty and defend against any threats."

    Besides California and Puerto Rico, the pledge was signed by the leaders of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

    First Transcripts in Impeachment Inquiry Released

    [NATL] Impeachment Inquiry: Yovanovitch, McKingly Transcripts Released

    House Democrats on Monday released the written record of testimony from two witnesses who say they were caught up in the Trump administration's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president's political rivals. Those witnesses: former top State Department official Michael McKinley and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. NBC's Alice Barr reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019)

    The commitment from the states — representing a sizable share of the U.S. car market — underscores prospects for years of legal challenges and regulatory uncertainty for automakers if Trump moves ahead on the mileage freeze.

    Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, urged automakers to get behind the states in the interests of cutting carbon emission and advancing cleaner-burning vehicles.

    "Since the Trump administration seems determined to put all environmental progress into reverse, automakers should make clear that they will not support this rollback by working directly with California and these 23 states to drive automobile technology into the future," Carper said in a statement.

    But an auto industry group made clear it had worries about both sides' position in the dispute.

    "It is untenable to face a marketplace with different standards in different states, but it also untenable to face standards that rise so high that only a handful of electric vehicles can achieve them," said Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

    "That is why automakers keep urging the federal government and states to find a middle ground that raises standards year over year while aligning with market demand."

    Roger Stone Trial Begins

    [NATL] Roger Stone Trial Begins

    Roger Stone’s trial begins as he walked into federal court this Tuesday morning. Stone is accused of lying to congress and pressuring another person to lie as well.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019)

    Trump has pushed automakers to back his approach. Last month, major automakers instead appealed for the administration to return to talks with California.

    California Gov. Gavin Newson indicated he wasn't optimistic about any breakthroughs with the administration.

    "I don't sense they're sincere in their commitment to sit down and negotiate," he said, and cited the administration's overall backing for the country's oil and gas industry.

    ___

    Krisher reported from Detroit.