On Friday, California regulators voted to require that automakers stick with the Obama-era emission regulations for vehicles sold in the state, no matter the efforts of the Trump administration to weaken the standards. This basically means vehicles built for through 2025 model year comply with the state’s standards and can legally be sold there. Beginning with the 2026 model year, vehicles have to meet the stricter standards if automakers want to sell vehicles in the state, along with the 12 other states and Washington D.C. that follow these regulations.
This is the latest salvo in the fight between California and Trump administration over emission standards. Back in August, the administration unveiled a new proposal that would freeze fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels through 2026. This proposal earned a large amount of criticism and a lawsuit filed by a group of states led by California.
In a statement, California Air Resources Board's Chair Mary Nichols said the state would “continue to work to keep a single national program,” but that the vote “ensures that California and 12 other states will not fall victim to the Trump administration’s rollback of vehicle standards should its proposal be finalized.”