California declares victory in battle to maintain tougher emission standards

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – California scored a major environmental victory against the Trump Administration and it could affect the way cars are made and sold through the rest of the country.

The Department of Justice is backing off forcing California and four automakers to follow federal and not the state’s stricter fuel and emissions standards. 

“It’s obvious that climate change is an issue that affects everyone, including automakers, so I appreciate that they’re willing to take California’s side,” Representative Ro Khanna, D-California, said.

Friday the DOJ announced it would end its investigation into Ford, BMW, Volkswagon, and Honda.

In September, the Trump Administration ordered the antitrust probe after the automakers sided with California. 

Congressman Ro Khanna says higher environmental standards benefit the auto industry. 

“It’s not just good for the environment, it’s also good for automakers. They understand that that’s going to force them to be innovative,” Khanna said.

The DOJ’s decision was seen as a major political victory in California, a state that positioned itself as an environmental leader in spite of the Trump administration.

“California shouldn’t set standards for the rest of the country,” Nick Loras said. 

Nick Loras with the Heritage Foundation says the size of its market forces other states and carmakers to follow California’s rules, limiting options nationwide. 

“It should really be about consumer choice. If consumers want fuel-efficient cars, they should have the ability to buy them. If they want gas guzzlers they should have the ability to buy those,” Loras said.

Where California sees the DOJ retreat as an environmental victory, Loras says the decision allows for more over-regulation.

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