A battle over the future of U.S. clean car standards just stepped up a gear.

Comments are due today on the Trump administration's proposed freeze on federal fuel economy rules. So the Political Climate podcast team sat down down with California's top clean air regulator, who is leading the charge to keep more stringent fuel economy regulations in place.

Mary Nichols is currently on her second tour as chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Arguably no single individual has done more to advance the Golden State’s pioneering — and bipartisan — effort to clean up its air and combat climate change.

In this episode, we get the backstory on California’s efforts to block the fuel economy rollback and the federal government's attempt to rescind the state's ability to set its own vehicle rules (starting at 17:10). And we discuss CARB's new 350-page filing that "demolishes the rationale for this regulatory proposal,” according to Nichols.

We also hear about the “dark forces” attempting to stall electric vehicle growth, and how California overcame political polarization to enact some of the nation’s most progressive climate policies.

Recommended reading: 

  • GTM: California Girds for Battle as EPA Rules to Weaken Vehicle Emissions Standards
  • GTM: Exclusive: Top EPA Official Lays Out Post-Pruitt Policy Priorities 
  • GTM: Cities, States and Businesses Within Striking Distance of Paris Climate Goals — Without Trump
  • AEE: Where Do Candidates for Governor Stand on Advanced Energy Growth?
  • The Hill: Dem Senator Calls for Ban on Saudi Arabian Oil Imports

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