Rabe in NYT: Trump administration may be “dialing back” rewrite of car emissions standards

April 9, 2018

Barry Rabe is quoted in Hiroki Tabuchi’s April 5 column in The New York Times: “Quietly, Trump officials and California seek a deal on car emissions.”

According to Tabuchi, the Trump administration, which aims to roll back federal auto emissions regulations, and the State of California, which has promised to keep its own stricter standards, have resumed talks in hopes of reaching a compromise that would preserve “a uniform set of standards for the entire country.”

Rabe describes the news as “a bit of dialing back” for the Trump administration.

“Clearly, the Trump administration has gained some political capital by looking really tough on this and proposing a reversal of the Obama-era standards,” Rabe explains. “But the Trump administration has also gotten out beyond what the auto industry has wanted throughout, which is substantial flexibility in meeting those standards.”

According to Rabe, reaching a compromise with California would prevent “enormous uncertainty” from a prolonged legal and political battle. “[The Trump administration] can now claim to have stood up to California, but they also realize they need to come back to the negotiating table,” he says.