Trump administration officials threatened this week to withhold federal highway funding from California, arguing that the state has not shown what steps it is taking to improve its air quality. The move by the Environmental Protection Agency escalates the fierce battle between President Trump and the left-leaning state, and could put billions in federal funding in jeopardy.
Former EPA officials said the letter was an unusual step for the agency to take. “I’ve never seen a letter like this before,” said Janet McCabe, who served as acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation under President Barack Obama. “It’s ironic that EPA is taking California to task for not solving the air quality problem when for decades the state has been moving forward with the most aggressive clear air rules and programs in the nation.”
She added: “That’s clearly threatening language in there.”