The White House announced on Thursday that it has ended talks with California over a proposed rollback of federal fuel-efficiency standards. The Trump administration is moving forward to finalize a rule that would end the state’s ability to set its own fuel-efficiency standards. The rule would also eliminate strict fuel-economy mandates approved under former President Obama. California Governor Gavin Newsom called the move “another targeted attack on CA by the Trump administration,” in a tweet on Thursday. “Clean air should be the most basic of human rights,” Newsom wrote. “This is a reckless political stunt that puts the health of MILLIONS of kids, families, and communities across America at risk.” The White House statement accused the California Air Resources Board of failing to put forward a “productive alternative” to the Trump administration’s proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule.
The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department say the easing of mandates will raise car industry sales. California has tried to use its standing as a leader in the automotive industry to push for cleaner cars to mitigate climate change and reduce smog. The Trump administration is attempting to complete the new rules by the end of March.