Hypocrisy and Incompetence Compounded

Earlier this week, Trump threatened to withhold $19 billion over the next three years in highway trust funds for roads and highway infrastructure if California doesn’t drop its efforts to require higher car and truck mileage standards in order to reduce automotive emissions and pollution. Ever since the Nixon Administration, under federal law, the federal government has permitted California to require higher standards because of its greater auto emission and air quality problems.

The Trump Administration has claimed that it will withhold those funds because the state hasn’t fully implemented some 130 air quality state implementation plans (SIPs). Federal law requires states with dirty air to come up with plans on how to reduce pollution, but those plans must be approved by the EPA. EPA has a backlog of such plans awaiting approval, and California’s 130 SIPs account for about one-third of the total.

What’s totally ridiculous about this is that these plans have been submitted to EPA, where they have languished for years because EPA is supposed to review them, and then accept, reject, or propose modifications. EPA has not taken any of those actions, as required by law.

Now, EPA Administrator Wheeler has demanded that California withdraw all 130 and resubmit them because California isn’t meeting air quality standards, despite the fact that 85% of the population — 34 million people — breathe dirty air.

Wheeler’s letter to the California Air Resources Board totally baffled state regulators and even former EPA officials who say the backlog exists because the federal government has not approved the plans and that what EPA is now doing is basically punishing California for EPA’s own inaction.

On top of that, during the Trump administration, EPA has rolled back or is in the process of rolling back twenty-four air quality regulations that would reduce air pollution, including a rule limiting methane emissions on public lands, including intentional venting and flaring from drilling operations; a rule designed to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters; a rule requiring fewer emissions from new power plants and expansions; a rule requiring newly built coal power plants capture carbon dioxide emissions; a rule setting strict limits on carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants. In addition, EPA has proposed rolling back all mileage standards for new cars and light trucks, which would significantly increase auto emissions and pollution nation-wide.

So after taking all these steps to increase air pollution, Trump now wants to make it harder for California to clean up its air… and wants to withhold federal funds because California isn’t complying fully with federal law because EPA hasn’t done its job.

Talk about incompetence and blaming others for it!

3 thoughts on “Hypocrisy and Incompetence Compounded”

  1. JakeB says:

    Reading this, I had a moment of wondering if Trump is in fact an evil genius* whose long term plan is to destroy the world so that everyone will pay for not recognizing his greatness.

    *although clearly not a stable genius

  2. Wine Guy says:

    Hanlon’s razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

  3. Gerald Fnord says:

    I imagine a future historian writing─that is to say, ‘I believe the following to be true but we are distracted by epiphenomena’─that D.J.T.’s tenure was in large part about maintaining the dominance of the petroarchy.

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