Los Angeles (AFP) - California officials on Tuesday vowed to fight President Donald Trump's administration over its plan to revoke the state's authority to set its own tailpipe emissions standards, saying the measure was part of a "vendetta."
The call to arms followed news reports that California's power to impose stricter emissions rules than those set by the federal government would be scrapped on Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency, while the president is visiting the liberal-leaning state.
California for years has set its own emissions standards and more recently announced a deal with four auto makers calling for tighter emissions standards than those planned by the Trump administration.
The agreement infuriated the administration, which rebuked the carmakers and claimed the deal violated anti-trust laws.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that the plan to undermine the state's power was part of a "political vendetta" by the president's administration.
"California won't ever wait for permission from Washington to protect the health and safety of children and families," he said in a statement.
He added that taking away California's right to maintain stricter emissions standards could have "devastating consequences" on children's health and air quality in a state that has long led the nation in efforts to battle climate change.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also denounced the plan and vowed to mount a legal challenge.
"The evidence is irrefutable: today's clean car standards are achievable, science-based, and a boon for hardworking American families and public health," he said. "It's time to remove your blinders, President Trump, and acknowledge that the only person standing in the way of progress is you.
"You have no basis and no authority to pull this waiver," he added. "We're ready to fight for a future that you seem unable to comprehend; we'll see you in court if you stand in our way."