Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 5/28/20, AM | KALW

Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 5/28/20, AM

May 28, 2020

CA Sues Nation Over Fuel Efficiency Standards / Pushback Against Proposed CA Budget Cuts

CA Sues Nation Over Fuel Efficiency Standards

California and around two dozen states are suing the Trump administration over its decision to weaken fuel efficiency standards. It’s the 82nd lawsuit the state’s filed against the administration.

The states say the Trump decision puts public health at risk and is based on inaccurate science. It reduces Obama-era rules that required automakers to increase fuel efficiency by 5 percent. It’s lowered it to 1.5. It also lowers the miles per gallon standard from 54 to 40. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra:

“EPA claims this rule will save lives, but the administration significantly underestimates the thousands of lives that will be lost due to increased air pollution from the rule.”

He says the national standard will result in around 900 million more tons of carbon dioxide from vehicles burning 78 billion more gallons of fuel. California has its own more stringent pollution rules that the administration tried to strip last year. The state sued and the case is in progress. 

Pushback Against Proposed CA Budget Cuts

California is facing a steep budget shortfall, and Governor Gavin Newsom says he may have to cut programs to make ends meet. But some workers for those programs are pushing back.

Andrea Noble is an in-home supportive services worker. The state program helps elderly and disabled Californians with housework and errands, and it may see budget cuts this year. She says:

“The home-care workers [are] always being cut, and that’s not fair to us.”

But with such a big deficit hole, there are workers and advocates like Noble across the state protesting cuts to their programs. State workers could also see a 10 percent pay cut. And education and public safety could get slashed, too.

Still, some lawmakers, like Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta, say there may be a way to save some of these programs from the deepest cuts — by raising some taxes:

“Higher corporate taxes on some of the biggest corporations, wealth taxes… there’s a whole set of possibilities, and I’m not saying they all will work, but maybe some could.”

But with a June 15 budget deadline, the time to explore those options is running short.