The Trump Administration's Assault on California's Global Climate Leadership

112 American Journal of International Law Unbound 269 (2018)

UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-37

6 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018

See all articles by Ann E. Carlson

Ann E. Carlson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: October 24, 2018

Abstract

The Trump Administration is taking direct aim at California's global leadership on climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to revoke the most effective tool California has to exercise climate leadership: its special authority under federal law to regulate tailpipe emissions more stringently than the federal government. California's use of this authority has led to the invention of automotive technology now standard around the world, including the catalytic converter. The state also used this power in 2002 to enact the globe's first greenhouse gas standards for automobiles. If the Trump Administration succeeds in revoking California's authority, California will find it very difficult to meet its ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas target. The attack on the state's authority will also undermine other states’ efforts to cut their greenhouse gas emissions as well as conventional air pollutants, since thirteen states follow California's standards in whole or in part. And the Trump Administration's revocation will undercut California's role as a green technology innovator by eliminating the strongest regulatory signal the state sends to automotive entrepreneurs. The last result is perhaps the most pernicious of all, because the state's role as a green technology leader has the capacity to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

Keywords: Climate Change, green technology, California's greenhouse gas standards, EPA, Trump Administration, regulation of tailpipe emissions,

Suggested Citation

Carlson, Ann E., The Trump Administration's Assault on California's Global Climate Leadership (October 24, 2018). 112 American Journal of International Law Unbound 269 (2018); UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-37. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3272482

Ann E. Carlson (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-206-9496 (Phone)
310-206-1234 (Fax)

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