Los Angeles city officials Friday responded to President Donald Trump’s proposal to revoke a federal waiver on California’s reduced automobile emission standards by joining a lawsuit and proposing legislative action.

Newly elected City Councilman John Lee, who was challenged during his recent campaign about his environmental policies, said Los Angeles should oppose any federal effort to revoke the emissions standards of the Clean Air Act.

Trump earlier this week announced plans to revoke the California Waiver providing tougher emission standards than the federal government. But Trump said federal standards and California’s would not be that different and the less restrictive standards would create more jobs.

Lee — ironically the only Republican on the Los Angeles City Council — defended the California Waiver.

“Not only has the California Waiver helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it also assists in improving local and regional air quality throughout the state,” Lee said. “While Los Angeles has historically struggled with air quality, the city is currently on the forefront of aggressive clean air efforts, and I do not want to see these efforts reversed through lower fuel emission standards. I stand for quality of life in our communities, which includes the ability to play, exercise, or socialize outside without having to worry about breathing in high-levels of pollution.”

Lee’s resolution to oppose scrapping the waiver was submitted the same day the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office joined a federal lawsuit initiated to stop the waiver revocation. The lawsuit was initiated by the California Attorney General, and 23 other states joined the effort.

This will be the sixth case since Trump took office regarding emissions and environmental policies in which the City Attorney’s Office has filed as a plaintiff in federal court, City Attorney Mike Feuer said.

“California has rules for a reason, and for goodness sake, the progress that we’ve been making cannot be rolled back now,” Feuer said. “After (taking) other steps on air and water and climate change (the Trump administration) designed to roll back environmental protections, it says, `We’re going to make it harder for California, which has a defined meaningful air-pollution problem, to regulate,’ after congress gave California this waiver.”

Feuer said his office felt compelled to join the lawsuit because of California’s high car volume and heavy smog levels in major cities.

“It’s incredibly important that the state continue to have the authority that we need, authority that would enable us to make sure cars have … less pollution,” he said.

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