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California air regulators say Scott Pruitt didn’t tell the whole truth to Congress

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) says EPA administrator Scott Pruitt mischaracterized the current working relationship between the two agencies during his testimony today on Capitol Hill. The discrepancy comes at a time when the EPA is considering revoking California’s waiver granted under the 1970 Clean Air Act, which gives the state (and CARB) authority to set its own emissions and air quality standards independent from those set by the EPA.

Pruitt announced on April 2nd that the EPA was overturning Obama-era vehicle emissions standards, and was also “reexamining” California’s waiver as the agency works with the Department of Transportation to set new standards. Today, at two Congressional hearings, amidst a barrage of questions about his spending, policies, and various scandals, Pruitt was asked about the EPA’s plans regarding California’s waiver to the Clean Air Act.

Pruitt, who was not under oath, would not say whether the EPA will revoke the waiver during either testimony.

But he painted a picture of collaboration with the California Air Resources Board. Pruitt said he sent EPA representatives to meet with the CARB about the April 2nd decision, as well as the forthcoming rule proposal. In the morning, he told Rep.

Doris Matsui (D-CA) that the EPA is “working very diligently and diplomatically” with CARB; in the afternoon, he told Rep. Ken Calvert (D-CA) that the two sides are in “active discussions” about the fate of the waiver.

“We have a role to play, and so does California. And that collaboration is important.

We’re committed to it, we dedicate our resources to it, and we’ll continue to work through the process to try to achieve commonality and an answer for both California and those states and our agencies,” Pruitt said.

CARB disagrees with this assessment, according to Stanley Young, the agency’s communications director. He confirms that EPA officials met with CARB before the EPA published its decision on April 2nd, but says that those meetings were “notably unsubstantive,” and that nothing new has transpired in the weeks that followed.

“We never received any materials from EPA or NHTSA in advance of the Final Determination announcement on April 2,” Young said in an email to The Verge. “We have not received any materials since then, have had no meetings since then, and have received no invitations to any meetings on this subject.”

“Pruitt himself has never met with anyone from CARB — even when he was in the State in March just days before the April 2 Final Determination release,” he added. “This is not, by any stretch of the definition, ‘working with California.'” Young says that CARB would like to collaborate with federal agencies in order to develop consistent standards. The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.

“It’s disappointing that Administrator Pruitt, despite his claims, is not engaging with CARB on this important issue in a substantive way,” Rep.

Matsui told The Verge in an emailed response to CARB’s comments. “Ensuring that we maintain one strong emissions program for the entire country not only provides public health benefits and helps consumers, but also gives automakers certainty.” Rep. Calvert could not be reached for comment in time for publish.

California’s waiver could be crucial in the months to come as the EPA writes up new standards for model year 2022-2025 cars. The current EPA has said that the emissions standards in place for those years are too high for a variety of reasons, and so it’s likely that the new rules will be less stringent.

But California isn’t likely to budge as long as it has its waiver, and 12 other states already follow the strict standards that California has set forth.

Apple reportedly launching subscription news service

Apple acquired the “Netflix of magazines” last month, and it’s now planning to create its own premium news service. Bloomberg reports that Apple’s Texture acquisition will see the service, which offers more than 200 magazines for £9.99 a month, combined into Apple’s News team. A new Apple News app will reportedly launch within the next year, and offer a subscription with a percentage of revenue shared to publishers.

Apple has tried a similar approach before. Apple killed its Newsstand app in favor of Apple News, and the original app used to offer digital versions of newspapers and magazines.

Apple also previously partnered with News Corporation to create The Daily, an iPad-only news publication. News Corp eventually shuttered The Daily after nearly two years, blaming a lack of audience to create a sustainable business model.

Apple’s latest attempt appears to be targeting a subscription offering for multiple magazines, much like the company’s Music streaming service. The effort will rely on an appetite for paying for quality news sources, something that publishers have been trying with their own “pay wall” options. Bloomberg reports that publishers will be offered a slice of the subscription revenue, but it’s not clear how much Apple will be willing to share.

Apple currently takes a 15 percent revenue cut from app subscriptions in the company’s App Store, and it takes a 30 percent slice for regular app sales.

T-Mobile owes the FCC $40 million for playing fake ringtones in unconnected calls

T-Mobile has to pay £40 million as part of a settlement after the FCC ruled that it violated the law by adding fake ringtones to hundreds of millions of calls over several years. It will also have to act within 90 days and send a compliance report to the FCC once a year for the next three years.

The carrier admitted to adding fake ringtones to make customers mistakenly believe the party they called was hearing their phones ring, when in fact the call might not have been connected yet. The FCC noted in a document, “A caller may then hang up, thinking no one is available to receive the call …

False ring tones are a problem on calls to rural areas and are a symptom of the problems of impaired quality and completion of calls to rural areas.”

In 2014, the FCC enacted an order to ban the practice of adding fake ringtones.

Users began to complain that T-Mobile wasn’t complying with the ban, and the FCC launched an investigation into the carrier’s actions in response.

T-Mobile then claimed it had removed fake ringtones, but users continued to complain until the FCC discovered the full extent of T-Mobile’s violations.

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