California allowed to set its own rules on electric vehicles, carbon emissions
California's ability to set its own electric vehicle sales mandate and carbon emissions limits ahs been restored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reversing a 2019 decision by then-President Donald Trump. The agency said that it was finalizing a decision to reinstate a waiver under the Clear Air Act to California that was first awarded in 2013.
The EPA is also rejecting a Trump-era decision to restrict other states from adopting the California tailpipe emission standards. "With today’s action, we reinstate an approach that for years has helped advance clean technologies and cut air pollution for people not just in California, but for the US as a whole," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, Reuters reported.
California's Governor Gavin Newsom noted that the move remedies the Trump administration's "groundless attack on a critical program that is based on California's decades of experience setting emissions standards as authorized by law." The state's Air Resources Board plans to significantly increase electric vehicle requirements by 2030 as it begins to phase out the sale of gasoline-powered, light-duty vehicles by 2035.
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The current US president Joe Biden President has set a goal of 50% of new-vehicle sales to be electric or plug-in electric, but has not yet finalized a date to phase out gasoline-vehicle sales.
California's regulator, in a draft document in December, said that it aimed to reach 61% of new sales as zero-emission models by 2030. A revised proposal, which is currently under review, would aim for 68% new zero-emission vehicles in 2030, 76% in 2031, and 100% in 2035, a board spokesman told Reuters.
Sixteen states in the US including New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the District of Columbia, have adopted California's emissions standards while 13 are following its zero-emission vehicle rules.
(with inputs from Reuters)