September 19, 2019

John Avlon talked this morning about Trump going after California's clean air standard.

"Don't pay attention to what he says, pay attention to what he does. That's the mantra for Trump supporters," he said.

I think I know more about the environment than most people. I want clean air. I want clean water. Clean air and crystal clean water. That's what we want. Remember this. I'm an environmentalist. I want crystal clean water. I want crystal clean air.

"That's what he says he wants. but look at what he does. Because yesterday on his way to L.A., President Trump announced via tweet that he's killing California's long-standing right to set its own emissions standards for cars and trucks. There are two epic hypocrisies here and one called political reality. First, federalism has always been a conservative article of faith. That's the idea the states should have the right to be free from federal government as much as possible.

"But in Trumpland, it doesn't extend to the environment. The California board which sets these boards was established by Ronald Reagan in 1967. At that time, California was swamped with smog. Guess what -- policies worked. so when President Trump touts America's crystal clean air, it's because of the policies he's now trying to get rid of.

Avlon said this was just one example of the 85 environmental rules the administration was going after.

"But on the flip side, California Governor Gavin Newsom is leading against the Trump agenda. His state's filed 59 lawsuits against administration policies, from immigration to the environment. President Trump says he's acting on behalf of the auto industry and the consumer, since companies won't have to pass on the cost of meeting stricter emission rules.

"But the auto industry hasn't been asking for this. Don't take my word for it. Back in 2018, Bill Ford of the company that bears his name said, we support including clean standards through 2025 and are not asking for a rollback.

"So why is President Trump flying across the country to punch California in the face? Because he can. Charging a state would be bad politics in a vote system. but because of the electoral college, he doesn't care about getting votes there. He's never going to win it. Even if it means damaging the environment and increasing pollution on behalf of an industry that isn't asking for is.

"Maybe we should listen to Trump supporters and look at what he does, rather than listen to what he says," Avlon concluded.

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