Former EPA administrator available to comment on expected revocation of California’s authority on car emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce Wednesday it is rescinding California’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, a move that is part of a larger strategy to rollback vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards adpoted during the Obama administration.

Janet McCabe, a professor of practice at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and director of IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute, served as the acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA from July 2013 through January 2017.

“This is a very disappointing, though not unexpected, decision,” McCabe said.

“Though the EPA talks about how it partners with—and even defers to—states to implement the Clean Air Act, the decision to revoke California’s legal authority to set its own car emissions standards demonstrates that this collaborative spirit only extends to states that agree with the Trump Administration.

“For decades, California has had the right to set tailpipe standards that exceed federal standards to meet the needs of its residents. This arrangement has benefited Americans by encouraging automakers to produce vehicles that cost less at the pump and pollute less at the tailpipe. Revoking California’s authority in this matter is a step away from cleaner, more efficient vehicles and a step toward making the US auto industry less competitive in the global market.”

McCabe has also served as air director at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and she has held other environmental policy and management positions in that department and in Massachusetts. 

To speak with McCabe, contact Jonathan Hines, Indiana University, johines@iu.edu, 812-856-3610.

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