Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Dianne Feinstein, D-California; and Edward J. Markey, D-Massachusetts, sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler and Secretary of the Department of Transportation Elaine Chao warning the Donald Trump administration that its proposal to remove California’s authority to set its own clean car standards wrongly asserts that California’s authority is preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

Additionally, senators provide documents that prove Congress rejected legislative efforts to preempt or limit California and EPA authority back in 2007.

“As elected officials who were deeply involved in the negotiation of the fuel economy provisions of EISA, we can attest to Congress’ intent that California’s authority under the Clean Air Act be preserved,” the senators wrote. “Not only did Congress include a broadly worded savings clause that expressly retains all authorities conferred by environmental laws, we did so in rejection of several alternative proposals to preempt California’s authority. The documents we are transmitting today also make clear that Congress considered, and ultimately rejected, language that would have eliminated or otherwise constrained this authority, even when faced with two presidential veto threats.”

A copy of the letter can be found at, and accompanying documents can be found at