Trump officials set to meet California air regulators next week

The leader of California’s air-quality regulator plans to meet with senior Trump administration officials next week to discuss automobile emissions standards that U.S. regulators have said need to be weakened.

Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, said she plans to meet with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Heidi King, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The summit, planned for May 23, will be the first in-person meeting among the top officials of the three agencies that together set the fuel efficiency requirements of new cars and light trucks. Representatives of the agencies weren’t immediately available to comment.

Nichols, in an interview on sidelines of a symposium for CARB"s 50th anniversary, said she plans to meet separately with auto industry trade associations while in Washington.

The Trump administration said in early April that Obama-era regulations to boost fuel efficiency to roughly 50 mpg on average by 2025 are too aggressive and need to be revised, setting up a new front in the ongoing tensions with officials in the most-populous U.S. state.

The meeting comes after President Donald Trump met last week with executives from 10 automakers and directed regulators to pursue a deal with California officials on revisions to the standards.