Trump to allow more car pollution. But by how much?
President Trump is poised to relax rules affecting tailpipe emissions in millions of U.S. cars, marking one of his most forceful moves against pollution standards since taking office. The administration has decided to loosen Obama-era limits on exhaust from cars made from 2022 to 2025, according to people familiar with the decision. A draft declaration is under review at the Office of Management and Budget, and it must be made official by the end of the week.
EPA Sides With Carmaker Calls to Ease Efficiency Rules, Sources Say
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that a landmark Obama-era effort to cut vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions is too aggressive and agrees with automakers that the standards should be revised, according to people familiar with the matter. The agency has completed a draft decision outlining the rationale for easing fuel efficiency regulations for model-year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, two people said. Bill Wehrum, chief of the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, plans to meet with environmental regulators in California next week to discuss the draft decision ahead of an April 1 deadline to make it public, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision hasn’t been made public.
Automakers and Climate Science
At auto shows and on dealership floors, automakers are quick to talk about the latest green technology — electric vehicles, hybrids, even hydrogen cars. But in Washington, the industry is sending a different message. Last month, one of the largest lobbying groups argued in a regulatory filing that the basic science behind climate change is not to be trusted.
EPA Chief Signals Showdown With California on Fuel Emission Standards
The Trump administration’s chief environmental regulator signaled a coming showdown with California, warning the state won’t dictate the future of ambitious automobile fuel economy regulations enacted by the Obama administration.
"California is not the arbiter of these issues," said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. California regulates greenhouse gas emissions at the state level, "but that shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be."
Scientists Stand Up Against Shoddy Science on Glider Vehicles
Glider vehicles have gone from being a niche issue to a major conversation piece both here in DC and now also in Tennessee. The villains are still Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, Fitzgerald Glider Kits, and Congresswoman Diane Black. The new heroes are the Tennessee Tech University (TTU) faculty and students. First a quick recap of the issue: Glider vehicles are new truck bodies that have old, polluting engines in them. As noted in my colleague Dave Cooke’s previous blogs, the particulate matter (PM) emissions alone from these vehicles will cause an additional 1600 premature deaths annually (assuming they make 10,000 vehicles a year). And the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are 10x that of the emissions from the Volkswagen diesel cars that were outfitted with defeat devices for every year this loophole remains open.
New Data Show Electric Vehicles Continue to Get Cleaner
New data from the US EPA on power plant greenhouse gas emissions are in, and electric vehicles (EV) in the US are even cleaner than they were before. The climate change emissions created by driving on electricity depend on where you live, but on average, an EV driving on electricity in the U.S. today is equivalent to a conventional gasoline car that gets 80 MPG, up from 73 MPG in our 2017 update.
Matsui Leads 19 Energy & Commerce Colleagues in Legislation to Preserve Fuel Economy and Vehicle Emissions Standard
Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA-06) led 19 of her House Energy & Commerce Committee colleagues in introducing the Clean and Efficient Cars Act of 2018, which would preserve fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save drivers money at the pump.
The legislation would codify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards that were created in 2012 for light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) for model years 2021 to 2025.
In March of 2017, the Trump Administration announced that the EPA and DOT would be revisiting those standards, despite the fact that the EPA issued a final determination in January 2017 to maintain them.
“The benefits of these standards are undeniable,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “By taking action to preserve them legislatively, we are continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect public health, save consumers money at the pump, and promote innovation. Allowing the Trump Administration to roll back these standards would be a step backwards. We should instead be promoting policies that drive us towards a more sustainable future for all Americans.”