Scott Pruitt says emissions standards for cars, light trucks should be revised

Trump administration revokes car air pollution rules, sets up fight with California | The Sacramento Bee

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he would revoke Obama-era standards requiring that cars and light trucks sold in the USA average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025, a move that could change the composition of the nation's auto fleet for years to come.

"The rollback of USA emissions and fuel economy standards, which come as no surprise, will not suddenly prompt automakers to abandon all plans for cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles". CARB is widely expected to fight any effort to eliminate its waiver which was first enacted in 1970. President Trump intially pledged to review the vehicle regulations in March of past year.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it completed a review that will affect vehicles for model years 2022-2025 but it did not specify details on new standards, which it said would be forthcoming.

The EPA did not lay out a specific new set of rules, instead saying a new review process will now get underway. That standard is equivalent to roughly 36 mpg in real-world driving.

The decision to rewrite the rule puts the EPA at loggerheads with California regulators, who agreed in 2011 as part of the rule to align their tailpipe emissions standards with the national levels.

"Cooperative federalism doesn't mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country". He went on to say "EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions that allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford - while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars". "We look forward to partnering with all states, including California, as we work to finalize that standard", he said.

In the weeks leading up to the announcement, Pruitt indicated he was preparing to tackle blowback from California. Just last month, the NHTSA said it wanted to retain the existing penalty rate for automakers that fail to meet CAFE standards. "But California is not the arbiter of these issues".

"Rolling back standards will curb the sale of vehicles", said Jack Gillis, director of public affairs at the Consumer Federation of America. CARB has been able to set emissions standards stricter than the EPA's, and the EPA's press release today mentioned that the state's waiver "is still being reexamined by EPA under Administrator Pruitt's leadership".

"We are going to do everything that can been done to defend these standards", Becerra told Reuters in an interview. "There's no good reason for these standards to be sabotaged". "We haven't lost a case".

Alliance to Save Energy: "Weakening the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards would mean higher fuel costs for individuals and businesses, more greenhouse gas emissions and sacrificing our energy security".

And that, along with other legal actions, could tie up any changes the EPA winds up making for some time.

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More than a dozen states adhere to California's eco-friendly regulation.

In response to the EPA announcement, Gov. A group of governors and mayors from California, Washington and OR also presented a unified front of Western opposition. "We found that those standards were still feasible, still appropriate, and still cost effective", McCabe said.

A roster of private companies also criticized the relaxing of rules.

It is in the nation's best interest to have a national standard, according to Pruitt.

"The Trump Administration's assault on clean auto standards risks our ability to protect our children's health, tackle climate change, and save hardworking Americans money", Becerra said Monday in a statement.

The current national fuel economy targets, which were championed by California, represent the single biggest action the federal government has taken to curb greenhouse gases.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 288,000 people work in the US manufacturing equipment tied to fuel efficiency.

If anything, several senior Detroit manufacturers have said they would more likely shift model mix strategies than abandon efforts to develop more fuel efficient vehicles.

The Trump administration announced that fuel-efficiency regulations for cars and light trucks are too stringent and must be revised, beginning a process sought by the US auto industry to roll back anti-pollution targets.

"Manufacturers need to sell vehicles that customers need and want today to fund the technological shifts and electrification and automation expected in the future", said a statement from John Bozzella, CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, an industry group representing the US operations of auto companies.

Clean energy advocates argue loosening vehicle standards would leave the United States at a disadvantage. The restrictions would increase average fuel mileage by about one-third, to more than 50 miles per gallon.

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