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(Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The Biden administration just blew through a potentially critical deadline to “Trump-proof” the U.S. government by November. These petty technocrats are trying to hobble Donald Trump in every way they can, but as it turns out, they’re just too incompetent.

A recent Politico report details how Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) likely missed a deadline to issue regulations that would ensure Trump can’t come in and dismantle California’s green-new-lunacy

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a 1996 law that allows Congress to eliminate executive regulations that were introduced within 60 working days of the end of a Congressional session. The exact date still must be haggled out, depending on scheduling and recesses —  but the deadline for this session could come as early as May 22. In other words, Biden’s probably too late. Any new regulations that come down the pike will be vulnerable to reversal by an incoming Trump administration, assuming Republicans take control of Congress and are willing to go to bat.

Trump used the CRA 16 times when he took office in 2016; Biden flipped it against him as well when he entered office in 2020. While the administration undertook a mad dash to Trump-proof the government with a slew of regulations before the 22nd, they overlooked some critical items on the Green Agenda in California. (RELATED: Biden’s Climate Agenda Is Running Headfirst Into A Wall Of His Own Making)

Trump has pledged to revoke California’s green energy rules like he did in his first term. He targeted the state’s undying commitment to issue vehicle emissions standards that were stricter than the already burdensome baseline set by the federal government.

“President Trump is committed to doing everything in his power, and whatever is necessary, to stop Joe Biden and his far-left cronies from implementing a ban on gasoline-powered automobiles anywhere in America,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told Politico.

And he might now have the power to do it.

Biden could have acted to protect California’s standards by granting the state’s Clean Air Act waivers before the 22nd, Politico reported. But for once, Republicans actually pulled their weight, with 74 Congressmen writing to the EPA a week before the deadline to advocate against the waivers. Now that the deadline has apparently come and gone, there are still eight outstanding waivers that the administration is sitting on.

“It would be nice to have it wrapped up so the Congressional Review Act is completely off the table,” Ethan Elkind, director of the climate program at University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, told Politico before the deadline. Without the waivers, “the Congressional Review Act is just another prong of attack.”

California is still trying to argue that waivers are not subject to CRA, but despite the legal battles ahead, the CRA is very much still in play.

Freedom-loving conservatives might be wondering why it matters what crazy thing California does next. If states were free to enact the laws they wanted without the federal government stepping in, wouldn’t we live in a much less polarized country? In a perfect world, yes. The current state of our politics, however, is anything but. California’s emissions rules are just another form of political lawfare that the state uses to drag the entire country down to hell.

There’s actually a name for this: it’s called the California Effect. The term, coined by political scientist David Vogel, describes the process of how “national consumer and environmental regulations” can begin to move “in the direction of political jurisdictions with stricter regulatory standards.”

First, a state with strict standards can deny market access to products that don’t meet its own standards. So in this instance, California can deny access to car models that only meet the weaker federal emissions standard.

Because California is such a massive state with lots of consumers, manufacturers are then incentivized to play along. It’s not economically feasible to make a special car just for California, so they will adapt the California standard to their entire line of production.

This supplants the federal standard with the higher California standard in practice, if not by law — but formal law often follows right along. Companies may even lobby the federal government to adopt the stricter standard to ensure that none of their competitors make out with an easy advantage.

These emissions rules have nothing to do with “states’ rights.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Californians might be on board with the green revolution, but most of the rest of the country isn’t. California wants to impose its own standards on everyone — and make sure that the entire country is on the path to net zero emissions. Thankfully, the Biden administration might be on board with this plan, but their bumbling delay has made rolling it back a little bit easier.

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