Biden Administration Misses Key Deadline to Secure Policies Against Trump Reversal

If the Biden administration misses a rapidly approaching deadline, a second Trump administration may more easily undo California’s nation-leading climate and air pollution regulations.

This year’s executive branch rules may be nullified by the president and Congress of the next year under the Congressional Review Act. Legal observers say that it begins as early as May 22.

California requires authorization from President Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency to implement a number of its projects.

If not, they might encounter fresh difficulties in the event that Republicans seize the Senate and President Trump is elected to a second term.

As he did during his first term, Trump has stated that he will try to remove California’s pollution regulations, which limit the state’s authority to impose stronger automobile emissions regulations than those set by the federal government.

Speaking for the Trump campaign, Karoline Leavitt stated on Wednesday that the plan remains the same.

“President Trump is committed to doing everything in his power, and whatever is necessary, to stop Joe Biden and his far-left cronies from implementing a ban on gasoline-powered automobiles anywhere in America,” she wrote in her email.

Republicans, however, now have an additional avenue to attack California’s market-driven emissions regulations for automobiles, trucks, and tugboats, among other programs.

This is because of the Congressional Review Act window. If the Biden administration approved the state’s Clean Air Act waivers before to the deadline, the state’s programs would be immune from congressional challenge under the rule.

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California is currently awaiting word on eight waivers from the Biden administration.

The 74 House members who wrote to EPA last week opposing the California Air Resources Board’s proposed emissions standards for locomotives are among the Republicans attempting to stop EPA from issuing them, but they are not explicitly addressing the issue of congressional review.

The Government Accountability Office’s ruling from November, according to which Congress cannot use the act to review EPA’s waiver decisions, is cited by supporters of California’s jurisdiction.

Officials in California concur but are adopting a strong position.

The Government Accountability Office opinion was cited by the office of Governor Gavin Newsom. “Waivers are exempt from the CRA,” spokesman Alex Stack stated.

Regarding the CRA query, the California Air Resources Board declined to comment. Dave Clegern stated in a statement, “We’re confident U.S. EPA will approve California’s waiver requests.”

The agency would “follow the prescribed process in the Clean Air Act regarding any California waiver decisions,” according to EPA spokesperson Angela Hackel, which includes a public comment period. Regarding the congressional inquiry and the agency’s timeframe, she refrained from commenting.

Reference

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