Document Type



Administrative Law | Energy and Utilities Law


In a move some have called the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine, the California Air Resources Board has created regulations, Advanced Clean Cars II, to target California’s carbon pollution, banning the sale of new gas-powered cars and light trucks in the state by 2035. These regulations come from a special privilege held only by the state of California through a preemption waiver from the emissions regulations set by the Clean Air Act. Other states can sign on to California’s waiver, taking it from a special privilege to a second set of emissions regulations, almost equal in power to the federal regulations. Pushback to California’s waiver comes in the form of an equal sovereignty argument that may go all the way to the Supreme Court. But consumers, and the automotive industry, are moving towards electric vehicles regardless of the regulations. This Note seeks to defend the continued ability of states to choose (despite equal sovereignty concerns) between a federal standard and a California-led standard through the lens of the electric vehicle market.