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Trump Administration Threatens to Withhold Highway Funds from California

Yuval Rosenberg

The Trump administration is ramping up it’s war with California. The Washington Post reports that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter Monday to the California Air Resources Board threatening to withhold federal highway funds from the state. The letter says the state “has the worst air quality in the United States” and “has failed to carry out its most basic tasks under the Clean Air Act.”

The Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni explain: “California receives billions in highway funding from the U.S. government every year, and federal officials have the right to halt that money if they determine that a state is not taking sufficient steps to show how it aims to cut air pollution such as soot or smog-forming ozone.” At the same time, the Trump administration last week revoked California’s authority to set stricter pollution limits on cars and trucks.

“Isn’t it ironic that EPA is taking away some of the important regulatory tools for meeting the federal health-based standards, and then sanctioning California?” Bill Becker, president of Becker Environmental Consulting, told the Post. “It’s like the kid killing his parents, and then pleading for mercy because he’s an orphan.”

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