Trump administration pledges to roll back Obama-era fuel standard, setting up conflict with California

The US government is poised to relax fuel efficiency laws, following through on a pledge made by president Donald Trump.

Rules requiring car manufacturer to achieve an average of 65.5mpg (UK gallons) by 2025 were introduced in the final days of Barack Obama’s presidency.

But in a recent midterm evaluation statement, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, stated that those standards were ‘not appropriate'. “The Obama administration’s determination was wrong,” he said. 

Pruitt’s statement did not give any indications of what the standards would be changed to.

The change is part of President Trump’s ‘business first’ policy drive, which is designed to reduce the number of regulations in US law.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA sets US national standards for vehicle tailpipe emissions of certain pollutants.

The state of California has been granted a waiver to impose its own, stricter standards for certain pollutants, but Pruitt has now said that is also under review.

Pruitt said: “Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country. The EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions that allows manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford, while still expanding the environmental and safety benefits of new cars.”

California is likely to oppose any moves to loosen its emissions standards. In a statement, California governor Edmund Brown Jr said: “This cynical and meretricious abuse of power will poison our air and jeopardise the health of all Americans.”

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Comments
22

4 April 2018

Trump , though highly toxic, is only temporary. The damage he does will have to be put right in the future. If car companies don't continue hard with the present targets, they'll have much harder targets to reach when the US gets a proper president. So they should ignore this.

4 April 2018
androo wrote:

Trump , though highly toxic, is only temporary. The damage he does will have to be put right in the future. If car companies don't continue hard with the present targets, they'll have much harder targets to reach when the US gets a proper president. So they should ignore this.

Proper president like who? Putin?

4 April 2018
older wrote:

Proper president like who? Putin?

No, one with a brain who understands how to run a country, not an orange lunatic or a man who wants to restore the USSR and The Cold War.

Citroëniste.

4 April 2018
androo wrote:

Trump , though highly toxic, is only temporary. The damage he does will have to be put right in the future. If car companies don't continue hard with the present targets, they'll have much harder targets to reach when the US gets a proper president. So they should ignore this.

 

Good points although I am not at all convinced that tough official targets are achieving much benefit. See dieselgate for proof.

A realistic assessment of a car’s total lifetime environmental impact would be much more preferable.

4 April 2018

 You would think that the bigger the Country the more you would want cleaner healthier air to breath, a cleaner healthier climate would maybe cut illness, less work days lost because of pollution, and you’d have thought that the USA would want to be seen as a forward thinking healthy Country with new tech for powering Homes, Cars and such, no, I think when America gets rid of Trump things will be better for us all.

Peter Cavellini.

4 April 2018

 You would think that the bigger the Country the more you would want cleaner healthier air to breath, a cleaner healthier climate would maybe cut illness, less work days lost because of pollution, and you’d have thought that the USA would want to be seen as a forward thinking healthy Country with new tech for powering Homes, Cars and such, no, I think when America gets rid of Trump things will be better for us all.

Peter Cavellini.

4 April 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 You would think that the bigger the Country the more you would want cleaner healthier air to breath

..but that's not in the financial interests of those who make the law or who run these companies.

 

4 April 2018

 You think so...?, I’m not so sure......!

Peter Cavellini.

4 April 2018

Engineers need a push, and need a target. But make it unrealistic, and VW happens. The EU targets resulted in huge increase in sales of diesels, and we all know the rest of the story. 

The US needs to keep the car makers trying really hard, but not so hard they introduce poorly thought out technology, or that it makes cars unreliable (which the EU seems to have achieved).

In the EU the targets set after 2021 will only be reached by adding electric power, and assuming that electricity is free energy (no CO2, no NOx etc). This is a cop out. We know electicity comes at a price of its own in terms of emissions. Will the US work the same? they seem to have had far more realistic tests so far

4 April 2018
artill wrote:

Engineers need a push, and need a target. But make it unrealistic, and VW happens. The EU targets resulted in huge increase in sales of diesels, and we all know the rest of the story. 

The US needs to keep the car makers trying really hard, but not so hard they introduce poorly thought out technology, or that it makes cars unreliable (which the EU seems to have achieved).

In the EU the targets set after 2021 will only be reached by adding electric power, and assuming that electricity is free energy (no CO2, no NOx etc). This is a cop out. We know electicity comes at a price of its own in terms of emissions. Will the US work the same? they seem to have had far more realistic tests so far

Crap.  Drop the huge hillbilly wagons from their line ups and introduce more european models and much of the problem is solved.

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