Trampling on Reagan’s Clean Air Legacy

Trampling on Reagan’s Clean Air Legacy

The Trump administration’s recent move to revoke California’s ability to set tougher emissions standards for cars sold in the state is not aimed at rolling back Obama policy, it seeks to reverse a waiver that then governor Ronald Reagan secured for the state more than 50 years ago. Governor Reagan was very committed to cleaning up California’s notorious smog problem, which was largely due to auto emissions. Not only did he support stronger pollution limits, in 1967 he established the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and appointed a scientist—an expert on smog—to lead the agency. That same year, Congress was considering the Air Quality Act of 1967. Reagan wanted assurance that any new federal law would not threaten California’s strong tailpipe pollution standards. He worked with his allies in the California congressional delegation to secure a waiver that allowed the state to set its own, more stringent, pollution limits. Shortly thereafter, Reagan signed a state bill into law curbing auto emissions significantly more than was required by the new federal standards. Reagan was very proud of his smog-fighting efforts, and as president, he made them the topic of a 1984 radio address to the nation. Listen Here: http://www.conservativestewards.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Reagan-Radio-Address1.mp3   This Trump administration move to strip California of its longstanding waiver not only threatens more smog, it represents a strike against states’ rights, and it tramples on Reagan’s legacy by seeking to eliminate one of his signature achievements. Revoking the waiver is part of a broader administration rollback of automobile fuel economy standards that is so illogical even auto manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota, are opposed. They...

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