Trump Administration Expedites Challenge to California on Auto-Emission Rules

from The Wall Street Journal,

Move comes as White House seeks to ease requirements originally set under the Obama administration.

The Trump administration is pressing regulators to accelerate the rollout of new tailpipe-emission rules, an attempt to strike back at California for cutting a side deal with several auto makers to set standards that are tougher than those proposed by the administration, according to people familiar with the White House’s plans.

Auto makers are worried the administration’s efforts are too confrontational with California and will result in a protracted legal battle between the federal government and the nation’s most populous state. That could force manufacturers to meet two sets of tailpipe-emissions standards for selling cars and trucks in the U.S., a scenario industry executives say will compromise future vehicle planning.

To ensure some certainty in future years, Ford Motor Co. , Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG struck an agreement this summer with California to voluntarily meet a new set of standards that are tougher than the White House’s proposal—but tamer than the Obama era ones. The companies have said the pact was intended to show support for a single, nationwide vehicle-emissions standard

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