Regulations confirming standards for vehicle emissions in 2022-25, which were hurried through in the final fortnight of Barack Obama’s administration, will instead be reviewed next year.
Evidently, if gas would have been more expensive in the U.S., automakers would have probably struggled to sell the gas guzzlers they were referring, while the eco-friendly and frugal models would be their most successful products.
EPA released a massive technical report previous year that found automakers could continue to meet and exceed the standards with conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.
These new orders would go well beyond a targeted attack on Obama administration measures blocking coal leasing and curtailing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the report says.
“This is just another part of President Trump’s retreat from action on climate change”.
“The current standards helped the auto companies move from bankruptcy to profitability, and there is no reason they can not be met”, said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. CARB and the EPA have worked together to create one, nationwide standard, but in the future, there’s a possibility that vehicle manufacturers could be forced to juggle two sets of regulations: one for California, and one for the other 49 states.
In the to-be-rescinded determination, the EPA stated that – between existing and new technology – it will be “practical and feasible for automakers to meet the MY2022-2025 standards at reasonable cost” while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing oil consumption. If, as environmental and auto lobbyists anticipate, the administration ultimately decides to weaken the rules, California will nearly certainly move to invoke its federal waiver.
If the world stands any chance of surviving the worst effects of global warming, it may take the stubborn intervention of First Daughter Ivanka Trump to blunt the worst instincts of her father’s administration.
Environmental groups have grown concerned the administration could take that step in the future, however, after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt did not pledge to uphold the waiver during his confirmation hearing in January.
Vehicle emissions were a major concern of the Obama Administration.
However, a rule change is far from a slam dunk.
The order will be the latest in a line of orders and actions from Trump to repeal or weaken Obama environmental regulations.
“We are about to have a historic fight”, said Sen.
Reduction of anti-pollution standards?
Eighteen auto industry executives including Mary Barra of GM, Ford Motor Co.’s Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV boss Sergio Marchionne sent a letter to Trump in February, asking him to reinstate the review of fuel economy regulations.
An administration official speaking anonymously has told the automotive press the president will give automakers some of what they want but will not initiate an all out war with environmentalists and the California Air Resources Board. But that seems unlikely.
The White House has made it clear that an additional review of the standards does not necessarily mean that they will be dialed back.
“We’re not going to refuse to participate in the newly-reopened review process”. The stakes are high for everyone, including the automakers, which could find themselves without any clear direction as the state and the White House slug it out in court for years.