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No negotiations yet between California and Trump administration on vehicle rules

 (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Earlier this month, a White House official floated the possibility of negotiations with California to resolve a brewing dispute over vehicle emission rules. The federal government has started the process of rolling them back, while state regulators here are pushing forward with tough pollution-reduction requirements, raising the possibility that automakers would need to meet different standards in different places. 

However, California hasn't heard from the Trump administration about beginning talks. 

"We haven’t been asked," Mary Nichols, chair of the Air Resources Board, told reporters during a conference on climate change in San Francisco. 

California has the unique ability to enforce vehicle rules that are tougher than federal standards, and Nichols said the state's leaders would be careful about any negotiations. 

"I would expect our governor to be no less rigorous in evaluating any possibility of a change to the federal program," she said. 

State Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has expressed "deep concern" about any negotiations.

"I always encourage dialogue, and we should keep lines of communication with the federal government open, but we cannot afford to compromise our air standards," he wrote in a letter to Nichols. 

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