Testimony in First Tailpipe Hearing Lashes Trump’s Rollback Plan

If the Trump Administration was hoping for a favorable audience at the first hearing on its proposal to roll back U.S. car emission standards, it didn’t find one in smoggy Fresno, California. California officials, environmental advocates, electric car supporters and residents came out to decry an effort that they said would endanger the health and economy of the state. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed freezing fuel efficiency requirements for autos at 37 miles per gallon in 2020, instead of letting them rise to 47 mpg by 2025 under Obama-era regulations. This would cap emission standards, too.

/ 09.25.2018

EPA’s reversal of environmental protections veers badly off course

After a year and a half of embarrassing scandals and ethical lapses, Scott Pruitt left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in July. His successor, acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, has an enormous amount of work and opportunity ahead of him if he intends to restore public trust in the agency. Unfortunately, two of Wheeler’s first decisions — to freeze fuel-economy standards for cars and to dramatically scale back an effort to reduce climate pollution from coal-fired power plants — veer badly in the wrong direction.

/ 09.25.2018

California urges Trump to drop plan for weaker fuel standard

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California officials demanded Monday that the Trump administration back off a plan to weaken national fuel economy standards aimed at reducing car emissions and saving people money at the pump, saying the proposed rollback would damage people’s health and exacerbate climate change, Looming over the administration’s proposal is the possibility that the state, which has become a key leader on climate change as Trump has moved to dismantle Obama-era environmental rules, could set its own separate fuel standard that could roil the auto industry. That’s a change the federal government is trying to block.

/ 09.25.2018

Fresno Heat and Foul Air Set Stage for Trump Tailpipe Debate

In a conference call with reporters Friday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state has no choice but to defend and strengthen its pollution standards. The Los Angeles area recently completed 87 consecutive days of excessive smog, the longest stretch in 20 years, he said.

/ 09.24.2018

Con: Fresno and rest of Valley communities cannot afford dirtier cars

As an asthma and allergy physician treating patients in the central San Joaquin Valley for more than 13 years, I thought I had seen it all. Then I saw that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were holding a hearing in Fresno to get the public’s view of rolling back cleaner car standards and stripping California’s ability to protect our residents from harmful pollution.

/ 09.21.2018

Where air pollution isn’t an abstraction

In the San Joaquin Valley, where we breathe some of the dirtiest air in the United States, California’s infamous smog is not just a statistic. It’s a fact that follows us every day and affects every breath.

/ 09.21.2018

In California, Facts and Science Still Matter

California may feel, too, a special sense of urgency, not to mention a special sense of grievance. In early August, in another big swipe at Mr. Obama’s climate agenda, the Trump administration announced a rollback of part of the former president’s ambitious fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. The Trump plan would not only weaken the rules but also strip California of its historic right, conferred by federal clean air laws, to set its own air quality standards. Those standards — which 13 other states have chosen to follow — led during the Obama years to a set of nationwide fuel economy benchmarks that, until Mr. Trump intervened, promised consumers years of steadily cleaner and more efficient cars. California, not surprisingly, has vowed to fight.

/ 09.03.2018

Colorado should adopt California low emission vehicle standards

Under the ousted EPA head Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency began considering a rule to freeze vehicle emissions standards at 2020 levels. Instead of continuing to make steady incremental progress toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Pruitt decided, the EPA should look into pausing the implementation of Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. The low emission vehicle standards are pushing car manufacturers to invest in the technology of more-efficient, lower-emission combustion engines, and the cost of doing so hasn’t been prohibitive. We haven’t seen compelling evidence that the standards are too onerous. Even some in the auto industry are pushing back on the EPA’s move; Ford Motor CEO Jim Hackett told investors that Ford will still meet or exceed the original CAFE requirements. Admittedly, the auto industry as a whole is arguing that the 2012 standards put in place under President Barack Obama are too high and it’ll cost too much to achieve a fleet average of more than 50 miles a gallon, or about 36 mpg in real-world driving, by 2025. Thankfully Gov. John Hickenlooper is pushing back.

/ 08.28.2018
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