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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and the state of California went to war on Wednesday over who should set the standards in the United States for vehicle emissions and electric cars, foreshadowing a legal battle over environmental policy issues that will affect the auto industry and consumers.
In a morning flurry of tweets, Trump confirmed he will revoke California’s authority to require automakers to build cleaner vehicles than federal requirements demand.
The Republican president is counting on voters in truck-friendly heartland states to carry him to re-election in 2020, and he portrayed his decision as a win for consumers. Trump tweeted that vehicles would be “far less expensive” and “substantially SAFER” - claims California officials rejected.
Trump, who is in California this week, urged automakers to back the action, which could also eliminate electric vehicle mandates in a dozen states that follow California’s regulatory lead.
The announcement will not immediately lead to revised emissions requirements, but the Trump administration plans to announce this autumn a separate rule to dramatically roll back Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards agreed with California, advancing a multipronged attack on the state’s efforts to reshape the mix of vehicles driven by Americans.
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