California lawmakers spar over rail emissions rule

By Nicole Norman | 06/14/2024 06:46 AM EDT

Republicans are pressuring EPA to block the new standards.

Rep. Vince Fong (R-Calif.).

Rep. Vince Fong (R-Calif.), who took office earlier this month, voiced opposition to his state's new rail emissions rule during a hearing Thursday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House lawmakers from California went head to head Thursday over whether EPA should approve the state’s new, contentious rail emissions standards, with Democrats pushing back after months of Republican criticism of the rule.

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.), chair of the Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, called a hearing that allowed Golden State members from both parties to air their differences. Lawmakers have also fired off letters making their case.

Obernolte said California Air Resources Board action would cause some short-line railroad to cease operations. “California knows this and even admits it,” he said.


Rep. Vince Fong (R-Calif.), who won a special election last month to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), described the rule as “significantly disruptive.”