Trump's war on clean cars will cost consumers billions says ex-California governor

'It also would jeopardize the health of millions of Americans'

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s rollback of U.S. clean car standards is “commercially suicidal” and will cost consumers billions of dollars, former California Governor Jerry Brown will tell Congress on Tuesday.

Brown will testify before the House oversight environment subcommittee hearing about the effects of President Donald Trump’s reduction of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks and plan to revoke California’s authority to set its own standards.

The former governor, who served four terms — two in the 1970s and between 2011 and January 2019 — will tell lawmakers Trump’s attempts to challenge California’s regulations will worsen air pollution and harm the American economy.

“Rolling back California’s clean car rules, as the president is proposing, is just plain dumb, if not commercially suicidal. It also would jeopardize the health of millions of Americans,” according to his prepared remarks.

“Consumers will waste billions of dollars at the pump on high-polluting vehicles. It will undermine American competitiveness, create enormous uncertainty for the auto industry, and threaten jobs and investments in clean energy and cleaner cars.”

Over the last few weeks, the Trump administration has gone after California on several fronts.

In September, the administration said it would revoke California’s authority to set strict car pollution rules that nearly two dozen states have adopted. Those states, including New York, New Mexico and Minnesota, sued the administration to prevent Trump from blocking the California standard.

One week after that, the administration accused California of failing to enforce the U.S. Clean Air Act and threatened to withdraw billions of dollars in federal highway funds in response.

Last week, the Department of Justice sued California for entering into a climate agreement with Canada’s Quebec province that links their respective carbon cap-and-trade programs.

In an interview with Reuters ahead of his appearance on Capitol Hill, Brown said the raging wildfires currently spreading across California should serve as a stark reminder to Trump that climate change is happening and he needs to take action, not roll back regulations.

Automakers are split, with some siding with California and others with the Trump administration.

“The world is facing a climate crisis — people are fleeing their homes, homes are being burnt to the ground,” he said. “Trump is setting us back in California, in America and throughout the world.”

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