Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg Credit: AP

The Biden administration on Tuesday (Dec. 21) finalized a reversal of a rule issued under then-U.S. President Donald Trump that sought to pre-empt California’s vehicle emissions regulations, according to an Associated Press report.

The Department of Transportation said it was issuing final rules rescinding the Trump action, which sought to bar the most populous state in the nation from setting vehicle rules that might conflict with the federal government’s authority to set Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements.

The program, in place since 1975, sets vehicle fuel efficiency requirements.

“States can now actively pursue solutions to address the climate crisis and environmental challenges in their communities,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

About two dozen U.S. states sued to block a pair of Trump actions that sought to remove California from vehicle emissions regulations, while major automakers had backed the effort. The Republican president often clashed with California.

Soon after Democrat Joe Biden was elected president in November 2020, General Motors Co reversed course and opted to no longer back the Trump administration’s effort to bar California from setting its own emissions rules.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) separately has moved to reverse the Trump administration’s 2019 decision to withdraw California’s legal authority to set vehicle emissions rules and set zero-emission vehicle mandates.

Click here to read the full Associated Press report.