It’s the battle of the improbable GOP celebrity politicians! Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California governor and star of “Kindergarten Cop” and “Twins,” has penned an op-ed in the Washington Post blasting President Donald Trump for the administration’s move to block California’s vehicle fuel efficiency standards — condemning this as an “un-American” violation of states’ rights as well as a foolhardy gambit endangering years of progress on the environment. Will Trump respond to the criticism with ad hominem remarks about Schwarzenegger’s funny accent or lack of acting ability? Or perhaps offer to settle it with a pro wrestling cage match (naturally with his entire Secret Service retinue assisting him)? Stay tuned to find out!
- The Gubernator’s ire was stirred by the Trump administration’s move last week to revoke the waiver granting California the authority to set its own vehicle emissions standards, granted in 2013 with an eye to limiting greenhouse gases that are supposedly contributing to climate change. This maneuver, part of a broader effort to roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards, would also prevent all other states from setting their own emissions standards going forward.
- The Obama rules would have mandated fuel efficiency standards of an average of 46.7 miles per gallon by 2025, while the Trump administration is proposing a freeze from 2020-2026 and an eventual target of 37 mpg.
- Schwarzenegger condemned this as “an affront to longstanding conservative principles,” adding that Trump appears to be “hellbent on reversing decades of history and progress.”
- The conservative principles affronted include the longstanding respect for states’ rights versus federal power, he wrote: “How many times have you heard conservatives beat the drum of states’ rights? 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 also noted that a number of big car companies have already signed on to California’s standards, and weren’t lobbying the Trump administration to revoke California’s authority to set vehicle standards: “They didn’t ask for the Trump administration’s backward thinking, and they know it won’t help them.”