New Episode of Resources Radio: “Waive Goodbye? The History and Future of the California Waiver, with Emily Wimberger”


Nov. 26, 2019

News Type

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Resources for the Future (RFF) today released a new installment of Resources Radio: “Waive Goodbye? The History and Future of the California Waiver, with Emily Wimberger.”

In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Emily Wimberger, a climate economist at the Rhodium Group and the former chief economist for the California Air Resources Board. Wimberger provides an overview of the California waiver―the waiver’s history, the purpose the waiver serves in California’s climate and air quality management, and why the Trump administration is moving to revoke the waiver. Wimberger also discusses the broader impact the waiver has on the auto industry, the rest of the United States, and perhaps even the rest of the world.

Listen here.

Notable quotes from the podcast:

  • “[D]uring what could be a lengthy litigation process, automakers don't know which set of standards will ultimately apply to them―will it be California's, will it be the CAFE standards under the Obama administration, or will it be the Trump administration's fuel economy standards? And I think in the meantime, consumers globally are interested in more fuel-efficient vehicles, and other countries are requiring improved fuel economy. So, I think there is a chance that the US could fall behind globally, in terms of investments and innovation in low- and zero-emission vehicle technologies, as that seems to be where everyone globally is headed.”―Emily Wimberger (19:29)
  • “I do agree that [having] one standard does eliminate a lot of potential economic inefficiencies when it comes to leakage and overall reductions in greenhouse gas emissions . . . I think everyone wants there to be one federal standard. I think the question is, at what level of stringency should it be set?”―Emily Wimberger (21:29)
  • “The Zero Emission Vehicle mandate is a really key component of improving air quality in areas of California that do continue to have very poor air quality. And often these are . . . low-income communities; they are on the forefront of experiencing the changes and the costs and impacts of climate change. And so, it's very possible that the elimination of the waiver could potentially make air quality worse and prevent the south coast from being in compliance with the federal National Ambient Air Quality Standards.”―Emily Wimberger (22:30)

Resources Radio is a weekly podcast series exploring timely environmental, energy, and natural resources topics. Episodes can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and may differ from those of other RFF experts, its officers, or its directors. RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals.

For more information, please refer to our media resources page or contact Media Relations Associate Anne McDarris.

Related Content