California's government agency responsible for maintaining healthy air quality voted on Friday to adopt stricter emissions standards for automobiles, essentially daring President Donald Trump to confront the state in a legal battle over climate change.
The unanimous vote by the California Air Resources Board has the support of a number of top politicians in the state, including Gov. Jerry Brown and several mayors, all of whom have pledged to resist the President's potentially damaging environmental policies, the New York Times reports.
Trump has pledged to roll back former President Barack Obama's policies to protect the environment and combat climate change. He has said auto manufacturers would benefit from loosened emissions policies. In Michigan last week, Trump vowed to loosen those regulations, declaring, “the assault on the American auto industry is over.”
Despite the President's federal agenda, California — which has the largest automobile market in the country — can set its own standards thanks to a waiver in the Clean Air Act, which grants the state considerable influence over the auto industry, the Times reports.
California is not alone in this fight. Twelve other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Washington, D.C., have adopted California's emission standards, setting up a face-off between more than 130 million residents — who own more than a third of the auto market — and the President.