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California, Trump Administration Will Clash Over Environmental Policy

December 14, 2016

Capital Public Radio

Amy Quinton

December 12, 2016

Serious clashes over environmental policy between California and President-elect Donald Trump’s administration are likely. Legal experts say to expect increased tension and litigation. Legally, California’s environmental rules and programs could be challenged in a variety of ways by the Trump administration – putting at risk wildlife and coastal protections, land use regulations, and pollution controls. Rick Frank, director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center at UC Davis, says federal law prevails when in conflict with state or local law under the preemption doctrine.

“The preemption doctrine can and does arise in a variety of contexts and the whole controversy over oil by rail is one of them,” says Frank. He says while California hasn’t taken on a regulatory role in limiting oil shipments by rail, local governments have. Benicia’s rejection of oil trains might not prevail under a Trump administration.

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