Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Trump administration wants to roll back Obama-era mileage standards

Trump administration wants to roll back Obama-era mileage standards

A significant body of ICCT research built up over several years, most of it done in close collaboration with U.S. and global automotive suppliers, has validated the rigorous and meticulous analyses previously done by EPA and California Air Resources Board staff on which the vehicle efficiency standards that the administration now seeks to dismantle were founded.

According to the Washington Post, the EPA, under former President Barack Obama, put forward a plan to require cars to have 51.4 miles per gallon by 2025 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health. Meantime, California remains fully committed to a rigorous 50-state program with a full range of vehicle choices. The timeline could then align with the finalization of the fuel efficiency changes, as the proposed rule still needs to work its way through a lengthy public comment process. Fourteen states have their own higher standards in place. California "will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today's national standards and reaffirm the facts and science behind them", he said.

It's costly for companies to design and build vehicles for California and states that follow its rules, and a different set for the rest of the country.

I really don't know about the younger generation in this country, but at 73 years of age, this writer remembers very well what it was like having to breathe in the exhaust from cars and trucks on the streets.

"More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to USA roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public", said Chao. They've argued that the Obama-era standards Trump proposes to sweep aside are outdated, established when the USA was over-reliant on foreign oil, and that they don't reflect huge increases in US exports of crude oil and petroleum products since then. The Golden State's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown was a bit more emphatic in his response, saying that his state "will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible".

WHEELER: It's my goal, it's the administration's goal to come up with a 50-state solution.

"Once it's already given permission to the state, can it take that permission back?" Right now we're facing two huge wildfires in the state.

"It would be a violation of our public health and air quality nationally", Bill Magavern, a lawyer and policy director for the advocacy group Coalition for Clean Air.

Electric vehicles could be a major source of electricity demand for utilities, but the Trump administration's vehicle efficiency rollback could slow their growth, particularly in their biggest market - California. But some legal experts say the entire package will be vigorously challenged in court.

This resolution is supported by numerous environmental organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and the Sierra Club. Donahue called the EPA's move "an extraordinary attack on California's historic role...." A court might consider such a pivot a "violent rupture with precedent", Donahue said.

Including stream protection regulations and guidance on auto loan discrimination protection, Republicans have successfully enacted 16 CRA resolutions to nullify Obama-era regulations this Congress.

California has had the authority under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own mileage standards to combat its chronic smog problem.

When the Obama administration adopted the current national standards in 2012, its decision was accompanied by thousands of pages of supporting data, research and testing results.

California also wanted to regulate C02 emissions.

We ask, perhaps naively, what is the Trump administration thinking?

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a main industry group, said Thursday that the Trump proposal means it's time for negotiations to begin.

Implementing that "50-state solution" is nearly certain to come into conflict with California's statewide mileage requirements, which are stricter than the federal government's.

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