The California Air Resources Board finalized its rules for vehicle emissions through the year 2025 on Friday. These are the same rules that the state agreed to adopt in 2012 as the Obama administration sought to create one national standard that would apply to all 50 states. California also approved an increase in alternative fuel powertrains – batteries, fuel cells, and plug-in hybrids – from around 3 percent today to around 15 percent by 2025.

The Trump administration has vowed to reconsider these tough emissions requirements, which basically determine the fuel efficiency of cars sold in the United States. In a further potential showdown with California, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said his organization will review the state's right to enforce emissions standards that are more strict than those adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Currently, Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia have all adopted California's greenhouse gas regulations.

If California's ability to create statewide emissions rules remains intact, there's an increasing likelihood of two separate requirements for automakers to meet in the United States. In a statement to Reuters, a White House official said, "We are disappointed that California has chosen to refuse our good-faith offer to work together with all relevant stakeholders on this important matter." Not only would divided requirements be a headache for car companies, it could potentially be difficult for consumers to register their automobiles when they move across certain state lines.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a group that represents most of the automakers in the United States, opposes multiple emissions standards in the US, and requested that California wait two more years before deciding on future legislation. Mary Nichols, head of CARB, responded by asking, "What were you thinking when you threw yourselves on the mercy of the Trump administration to solve your problems?" Sounds to us like the two sides are pretty far from a mutually beneficial handshake.

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