Schwarzenegger: Trump’s Calif. proposal is ‘un-American’

Source: By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Arnold Schwarzenegger. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Arnold Schwarzenegger is blasting the Trump administration for challenging California’s ability to regulate planet-warming pollution from automobiles.

In an opinion pieceyesterday in The Washington Post, the former Republican governor of California wrote that the administration, “for some reason, is hellbent on reversing decades of history and progress.”

He wrote, “Whether it is political pettiness, shortsightedness or just plain jealousy, I couldn’t tell you. I can tell you that it’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it’s an affront to long-standing conservative principles.”

At issue is EPA’s proposal to revoke California’s Clean Air Act waiver for greenhouse gases, which allows the state to set tougher tailpipe pollution rules than the federal government.

The administration is reportedly seeking to fast-track the waiver revocation; a proposed rule could be sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget as soon as this week (E&E News PM, Sept. 5).

According to Schwarzenegger, the proposal runs afoul of the Republican administration’s professed commitment to states’ rights.

“How many times have you heard conservatives beat the drum of states’ rights?” the actor and former professional bodybuilder wrote. “But suddenly, when a state wants to pollute less and protect its citizens from deadly pollution, conservatives throw states’ rights straight out the window.”

Schwarzenegger noted that other GOP politicians have supported California’s efforts to combat air pollution under the framework of cooperative federalism.

In particular, Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan created the California Air Resources Board in 1967 and President Nixon signed into law the 1970 Clean Air Act, which granted the state the right to set its own air regulations.

Schwarzenegger concluded the op-ed by mocking President Trump for seemingly altering a map of Hurricane Dorian’s path with a black Sharpie. The president used the doctored map to falsely claim the hurricane could hit Alabama (Climatewire, Sept. 6).

“Business leaders — and Californians — know that you can’t just erase decades of history and progress by drawing a line through it with a Sharpie. It’s time the administration learns that lesson,” Schwarzenegger wrote.

“California will fight this decision,” he added. “And I promise you, we will win.”

The op-ed is part of a strong wave of criticism of the administration’s actions from Golden State politicians.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) saidon Twitter on Friday, “Hey, @realDonaldTrump: “I know this is your go-to these days … but no fake science or math will change the fact that CA’s vehicle emissions standards will save Americans BILLIONS while preserving our air.”

The tweet was accompanied by a picture of a chart showing “vehicle emissions standards cost savings for consumers.” The chart had been altered by a black Sharpie.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has also criticized reports that the Justice Department is launching an antitrust probe into four automakers that signed a July deal with California clean air regulators to improve fuel economy (Greenwire, Sept. 6).

The probe “seeks to weaponize law enforcement for partisan political purposes to advance the Trump administration’s toxic special interest agenda,” Pelosi said in a statement.