This is just the latest example of the Trump administration abusing the discretion Congress afforded the executive branch - a flexibility meant to make laws more workable and adaptable to changing circumstances, not to let presidents try to subvert Congress' intent.
California wants 15.4% of vehicle sales by 2025 to be EVs or other zero-emission vehicles and 10 other states have adopted those requirements.
Revocation of the state standards will take effect 60 days after the formal publication in the coming days.
"To do otherwise", Chao continued, "harms consumers and damages the American economy".
Trump said on Twitter his administration's replacement efficiency standards, which are being finalized by federal agencies for cars after 2020, will lead to greater vehicle production by reducing the cost of new vehicles.
"You have no basis and no authority to pull this waiver", said California AG Xavier Becerra, referring to Trump.
Asked if Californians should take the Trump administration's sudden interest in the issue as honest given the friction between the state and the president, Carson said things work best when all levels of government can work together with advocates, nonprofits and faith-based organizations and advocacy groups.
On Wednesday, the two sides went to war over who should set USA standards for vehicle emissions and electric cars, the first feint in what could be a long legal battle.
The fight over California's right to set its own motor vehicle emission standards is part of a long-running rebuke by the administration of former President Barack Obama's pursuit of stricter emission standards.Trump lost the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton by a 30 percent margin in 2016.More news: Check out the new iPhone 11 series
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The EPA says California does not need the waiver because these rules "address environmental problems that are not particular or unique to California".
The Canadian government said Wednesday that it intends to continue collaborating with California on vehicle emissions regulations. Wheeler said the administration's revised standards will have a negligible impact on the environment. "Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business", Trump said in a tweet.
For Trump, that all smells like weakness, and he wants little to do with a "loser", Dan Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, tells The Washington Post.
One of those automakers, Ford Motor Co F.N , did not say if it backs the waiver but reiterated its belief that "the best path forward is a negotiated settlement that offers a workable compromise".
"The waiver the U.S. EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] is threatening applies only to passenger vehicles", said David Clegern, a public information officer with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), in an email to FreightWaves.
California, which had a waiver under the Clean Air Act to exceed the national standards by requiring even more efficient cars, vowed to fight the new standards, as the state has fought the Trump administration on a number of a different issues.
It's a critical fight for the world, because every auto maker selling to the United States has been meeting California's low-pollution standards, which has made America's overall vehicle emissions much lower than they would otherwise be.
Calling it a "political vendetta", California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Mary Nichols, the state's top clean air regulator, said Trump's action would compromise public health and leave the US auto industry behind in the global race to build electric vehicles.
Car-makers are caught in the middle.
But Sacramento has pushed back that, while cars will become more expensive, consumers will actually save money because they will be spending less on gasoline.