EPA chief signals showdown with California on tailpipe rules

The Trump administration’s chief environmental regulator signaled a coming showdown with California, warning the state won’t dictate the future of ambitious automobile fuel economy regulations enacted by the Obama administration.

“California is not the arbiter of these issues,” said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. California regulates greenhouse gas emissions at the state level, “but that shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be.”

The EPA faces an April 1 deadline to decide whether Obama-era corporate average fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks from 2022 to 2025 are attainable or should be revised.