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Vox Sentences: Regulation rollback on car emissions

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The EPA is set to announce a repeal of a California rule that helps produce more fuel-efficient cars; a deadly blaze in Liberia kills dozens of students.

A proposed rollback on auto fuel efficiency rules

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump and the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to announce Wednesday the repeal of a decades-old rule that allows California to set stricter car emission standards than those required federally, a move that could restructure the domestic auto industry and America’s response to the climate crisis. [Los Angeles Times / Anna M. Phillips]
  • The rollback will derail a global trend to produce more fuel-efficient cars and is widely seen as part of the Trump administration’s effort to weaken regulations that address global warming. [NPR / Scott Neuman]
  • The move affects not only California, but 13 other states and the District of Columbia that follow its emission regulations. Collectively, they make up roughly a third of the country’s auto sales, and interestingly, only one state — Pennsylvania — supported Trump in 2016. [Politico / Alex Guillén]
  • California has promised to fight back against the proposed rollback, intent on taking the dispute all the way to the Supreme Court. Xavier Becerra, the state’s attorney general, has already said he wants to strike back with a lawsuit. [NYT / Coral Davenport]
  • The Justice Department has already taken up the fight against automakers. It recently launched an antitrust probe against Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen, firms who have all forged a deal with California on vehicle-emissions standards. [WSJ / Timothy Puko and Ben Foldy]
  • This is not the first time in the last 30 days that the administration threatens progress on climate change. In late August, the EPA sought to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies control their methane emissions — a powerful greenhouse gas — by inspecting and repairing leaks from across the supply chain. [Slate / Elliot Hannon]
  • President Trump has famously called climate change a “hoax,” but the topic has taken center stage in the runup to the 2020 presidential election. From Greenland’s ice melts to forest fires burning everywhere from California to the Amazon and major floods devastating farmlands across the US, this has been a year of record for many environmental disasters. [CNBC / Emma Newburger]
  • These events are unrolling as the auto industry is facing another crisis of its own — this time in regard to pay disputes. The General Motors strikes are going into Day 3, with the company and the union coming no closer to an agreement. [Vox / Alexia Fernández Campbell]

Fire in Liberia kills dozens of students

  • A fire that broke out late Tuesday at a religious school in Liberia has killed at least 27 students aged between 10 and 20 years old, according to several news reports. [BBC]
  • The blaze was likely incited by faulty electrics, a common issue in big cities in Liberia that often cause tall structures to collapse, said police spokesperson Moses Carter. Carter added only the imam, two students and their teacher managed to escape. [Reuters / Alphonso Toweh and Al Jazeera]
  • Liberian President George Weah tweeted Wednesday offering his condolensces to the bereaved, wishing for God to strengthen families and the entire Islamic community and “give them the courage to persevere.” He’s expected to attend planned funeral services later today. [Twitter / George Weah]
  • Pastor Emmanuel Herbert of a nearby church told the Associated Press that his congregation woke up to sounds of the fire. “When I turned around to look, the entire place was red. When I looked through the window, I saw the whole place blazing with fire,” he said. [AP / Jonathan Paye-Layleh]


  • Downton Abbey is opening its doors. The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon have posted their residence of Highclere Castle in Hampshire — where the hit TV show was filmed — on Airbnb, inviting two guests to spend a single night and be “treated like royalty.” [Guardian / Frances Perraudin]
  • Having trouble putting your kids to sleep? Maybe Spiderman can help. The House of Mouse is reintroducing the Disney Bedtime Hotline, a toll-free service with special messages from characters like Mickey Mouse, Woody from Toy Story, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, and more. [WSAW TV]
  • Times Square is one among several locations worldwide to host a “sleep out” in December in an effort to raise awareness and funds to combat homelessness. Celebrities like Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren are expected to participate in New York and London, respectively. [New York Post / Jackie Salo]
  • If you’re craving late dinner, maybe Thrillist can help you score a free burger on National Cheeseburger Day this Wednesday. [Thrillist / Dustin Nelson]


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