Trump administration officially revokes California tailpipe emissions waiver

The Trump administration on Thursday officially revoked California's tailpipe waiver under the Clean Air Act, a decision likely to face quick legal challenges.

The Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled the “One National Program Rule,” giving the federal government sole authority to set emission standards for cars.

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The rule is part of the administration's Safer, Affordable, Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, a draft of which was submitted to the White House in August.

The second part of the rule will include a final decision over what fuel efficiency levels to set emissions at starting in 2025.

Revoking California's waiver will also affect 13 other states that adopt California’s tougher emissions standards.

“One national standard provides much-needed regulatory certainty for the automotive industry and sets the stage for the Trump Administration’s final SAFE rule that will save lives and promote economic growth by reducing the price of new vehicles to help more Americans purchase newer, cleaner, and safer cars and trucks," EPA Administrator Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation OVERNIGHT ENERGY: New documents show EPA rolled back mileage standards despite staff, WH concerns | Land management bureau grants 75 royalty rate cuts for oil and gas | EPA employees allege leadership interference with science in watchdog survey MORE said in a statement.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE on Wednesday tweeted that the waiver would be revoked while he was fundraising in California.

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraRipple Effect: When politics ignores science, it jeopardizes local clean water Republicans introduce bill to create legal 'safe harbor' for gig companies during the pandemic OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump orders cuts in regulations that 'inhibit economic recovery' | Green group calls for Energy secretary to step down over 'redlining' comment | Daily carbon emissions drop 17 percent MORE (D) has threatened to sue the administration if it moved to revoke the state's waiver. The state has relied on the waiver process to set their own tougher emissions standards for about 50 years. 

“There's no question, of course, that we will be in court," California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols said in a press conference Wednesday.

“This is the fight of a lifetime. We have to win this,” she added.

California sees the waiver as an important states' rights battle. The state says tougher emissions standards are necessary to fight climate change and reduce air pollution.

Rebecca Beitsch contributed reporting.