California was granted the right to enact stricter emissions rules than the rest of the US back in 1967
This waiver was removed by the Trump administration in 2019
California will now regain control of the emissions laws on its territory
The Biden administration created an executive order in January of 2021 that directed the department of transportation and the EPA to look into the decision of the previous administration to remove California’s ability to set its own tailpipe emissions standards.
A little over a year later, the EPA decided to reinstate the waiver that was put in place back in 1967 to give California control over the pollution on its territory.
This measure had been implemented at the time due to the high level of pollution and smog that affected the State’s largest cities due to particularities in the geography.
Over the years, California has consistently been the state with the most stringent emissions control rules and automakers had to modify their cars especially for sale in California.
The Golden State was also the first to issue mandates requiring a certain percentage of the vehicles on its roads to be electrified at the turn of the century.
As of now, 16 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the same standards as California.
The Trump government removed California’s ability to legislate stricter emissions laws in 2019 citing the negative effects these mandates had on the auto industry. Many automakers were in support of this action, including General Motors, Stellantis, Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Kia. GM later withdrew its support, but the National Automobile Dealers Association maintained the pressure.
Since this waiver has been returned, the state will once again be able to set its own mandates, which currently aim for 61% of the vehicles in California to be Zero Emissions vehicles (ZEV) by the end of the decade, while the national mandate is to have 50% of ZEVs on the road by that time.
California goes even further by being the first US state to ban the sale of combustion powered vehicles after 2035.