California Sees Hope for Deal on Federal Emission Rules

California regulators say a deal is possible that would reconcile their emission and fuel economy rules with the Trump administration’s aim to ease future standards, Bloomberg News reports.

“Reason could prevail,” Mary Nichols, who chairs the California Air Resources Board, tells attendees at a Bloomberg energy summit in New York City.

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency rejected currently scheduled standards for 2022-2025 as “wrong,” thereby triggering a new round of alternate rulemaking. That, Nichols says, is where compromise could come.

She says California would be willing to adjust its regulations, but only to make them easier for carmakers to meet without compromising the state’s overall air quality goals. One example would be giving manufacturers more credit for the electric cars they sell.

Nichols confirms that CARB and federal officials have had several informal discussions about future fuel economy rules. The Trump administration so far has not presented any specific proposals. She says the White House indicates it will present a range of options and has said, “We want you to like one of them.”