Politics & Government

Jordan Cunningham takes stand against Trump’s EPA emission rollbacks

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham submits his first piece of legislation on Feb. 10, 2017, at the state Capitol.
Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham submits his first piece of legislation on Feb. 10, 2017, at the state Capitol.

Central Coast Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham — a Republican — is standing up to the Trump Administration’s proposed effort to roll back federal fuel economy standards and revoke California’s authority to set its own, tougher standards.

Cunningham introduced a resolution Monday supporting the state’s independent vehicle efficiency standards, in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to remove California’s waiver to the Clean Air Act that allows the state to set its own efficiency standards.

California is one of 17 states who have taken to the courts to block such a move.

“California is proud to lead the nation towards a cleaner future,” Cunningham said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “Our ability to set our own emission goals has reduced pollution, increased fuel efficiency and saved drivers money at the pump.”

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In his resolution, Cunningham states that global climate change has “already had observable effects on the environment,” and that California “is home to eight of the 10 cities in the United States with the worst air pollution.”

The resolution states that the EPA is currently seeking comments on the proposal for 60 days and will hold three public hearings.

Nick Mirman, Cunningham’s chief of staff, said Tuesday that the resolution will go to the Assembly rules committee, which will then assign it to another committee for a hearing. No date has been set for that hearing yet.

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Cunningham is a Templeton-based attorney and represents San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties.

First elected in 2016, he faces his first electoral challenge from Democrat Bill Ostrander in November’s general election.

Considered a moderate conservative, Cunningham in his first term has focused primarily on public safety issues and introduced a series of bills focusing on reforming California’s criminal justice system.

But he’s also drawn criticism from fellow Republicans; in July 2017, Cunningham was among eight state Republican lawmakers who voted to extend California’s landmark climate program known as cap-and-trade to 2030.

Matt Fountain 781-7909, @mattfountain1

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