NHTSA proposal would override California’s tougher emissions rules
The WSJ‘s sources didn’t say exactly how this override would work, and the proposal isn’t guaranteed to survive. Even if the proposal remains the same, it would still need EPA approval that isn’t expected given a “lack of consensus” in the administration. The NHTSA has declined to comment so far.
If the proposal went forward, though, it would risk triggering a wider legal battle. The administration has already lost a bid to delay fuel economy penalties, and California’s Air Resources Board is considering a lawsuit to counter the White House’s efforts to loosen emissions standards. It’s doubtful the Golden State would let the loss of authority go unchallenged. That, in turn, could lead to a protracted court battle and might even create a split where companies build different versions of cars for different states. Automakers have pushed for a unified fuel standard, but they might get just the opposite.