EPA relaxes emission standards

EPA relaxes emission standards

The Obama EPA had allowed the western state to impose more stringent vehicle emission standards through a waiver under the Clean Air Act. In the year he has served as the Trump administration's top environmental official, Pruitt has moved to scrap, gut or replace numerous environmental regulations opposed by the industry while boosting the continued burning of fossil fuels, which is the primary cause of climate change.

"The EPA described that goal as "not appropriate" and said that the EPA under Obama had "set the standards too high" in an evaluation process that didn't comport with reality".

At issue are Obama-era rules set in 2012 that mandated 54.5mpg average fuel economy by 2025, a standard that many automakers have complained is unworkable.

The ethics official said the arrangement was consistent with federal ethics regulations because Pruitt paid "market value" for it. "EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions", Pruitt said.

"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", said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader.

"It would be especially hard for them to make the case, given that they have not redone EPA's technical analysis, which took many years and was very thorough and found that the standard was appropriate, " said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union, which supports the current standard.

In November 2016, the Obama administration "short-circuited" the MTE process and rushed its final determination on January 12, 2017, just days before leaving office, the EPA claims, adding that since then, the auto industry and other stakeholders have sought a reinstatement of the original MTE timeline so that the agency could review the latest information. "If the USA weakens its rules, automakers could use that to lobby European and Australian regulators to be less strict", said Anup Bandivadekar, a researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation.

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Any split in the nation's vehicle market would be troublesome for auto manufacturers, which had lobbied the Trump administration to lower the standards.

While the auto industry straddles the transition to cleaner cars, it'll likely face yet another fight from California, which has been prodding the industry for years. California agreed to follow the new rule so that automakers could meet a single national standard.

The automakers say they all are committed to increasing fuel economy requirements and the key to achieving higher standards is selling more of the highly fuel-efficient vehicles, including 50 models of electric cars, now in dealer showrooms. We have solutions at hand to build the cars of tomorrow.

Ann Carlson, a professor of environmental law at the UCLA, said EPA's move is unprecedented especially in a state like California where the law has been effective for years.

Greenhouse gas emissions are tied directly to how much gasoline a vehicle burns.

Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said Pruitt made the right decision and that the administration was working on a way to both increase fuel economy and "keep new vehicles affordable to more Americans". In announcing the changes, Pruitt is seeking to override California's authority to set its own standard.

(Pruitt, through a spokesperson, called this a coincidence.) The manm also spent six figures past year on first-class flights, which were necessary, he said, because he didn't appreciate the plebeians in coach class letting him know that he is awful at his job. "They don't even have the industry itself asking for this", said Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator under President Barack Obama and now director of Harvard's Center for Health and the Global Environment.

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