California air boss evokes cancelled Kim summit in swipe at Trump

Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols disputed the Trump administration's description of a meeting about the future of fuel economy standards.
Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols disputed the Trump administration's description of a meeting about the future of fuel economy standards.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

CHICAGO (BLOOMBERG) - California's top air quality official disputed the Trump administration's description of a meeting about the future of fuel economy standards, suggesting it was actually a dud.

"Sounds like a great meeting based on the WH press release. Too bad it's not the one we attended," Ms Mary Nichols, the chair of the state's Air Resources Board, tweeted on Thursday (May 24), attaching an image of a statement released by the US Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency.

"To quote the President on cancelling his planned summit with Kim Jong Un, 'If and when (@USDOT & @EPA) choose to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am ready,'" Ms Nichols wrote.

The Transportation Department and EPA had described Wednesday's meeting with Ms Nichols as productive and said they were moving ahead with a joint proposal to amend federal auto efficiency rules.

Automakers have stressed a strong desire for California and federal regulators to continue coordinating fuel mileage and emissions standards as part of a national programme that would set consistent requirements for companies nationwide.

California Governor Jerry Brown said in an interview on Wednesday that the state won't give in to demands that its auto emission standards be watered down and is prepared to litigate the matter until Mr Trump is out of office.