California Air Chief to Pruitt on Autos: `Call Me Maybe?'

(Bloomberg) -- California’s top air-quality regulator took to Twitter Friday to engage Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt over the future of automotive pollution standards.

“I agree it’s important we work together ‘diligently & diplomatically’ to maintain one national program for #cleanercars so like, call me maybe?” Mary Nichols, the chair of the California Air Resources Board, wrote in a Twitter post.

Nichols was referring to Pruitt’s testimony before Congress yesterday that he wanted to try to avoid a collision with California over automotive-emission rules. Pruitt told a U.S. House panel that there were no plans "at present" to revoke California’s authority to set its own standards.

U.S. regulators are poised to propose a freeze on fuel-efficiency standards at 2020 levels, according to two people familiar with the plan, which would erode an ambitious Obama-era initiative to curb planet-warming greenhouse gases.

A draft of the proposed rulemaking outlines eight scenarios for replacing the Obama administration requirements that aimed to slash carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks, said two people, who asked to speak anonymously because the deliberations are private.

In addition, the administration is considering whether to eliminate California’s unique authority to set its own auto efficiency standards that exceed those of the federal government, though a decision has not yet been made, the people said.

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