Feds Officially Propose New Vehicle Emissions Standards


The Trump administration formally unveiled new fuel economy rules this morning.

The new plan will freeze 2020 mileage targets, which are about 30 miles per gallon, for the next six years "because they are no longer appropriate and reasonable".

The proposal, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are open to negotiation, and at least one federal official left the door open for compromise. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the first formal step in setting the 2021-2026 Model Year (MY) standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its auto and light-duty truck fleet. There is absolutely no reason, however, for Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to abandon the leverage he enjoys in this important debate.

DeSaulnier served on CARB for 10 years, was Chair of transportation committees in the California State Assembly and Senate, and is now a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) - the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule) - aims to "give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment", the agencies say in a press release.

Notably, the proposed rule also limits the ability of California to establish its own tailpipe emissions standards, the Sierra Club notes. "What they want more than anything is one set of rules". Vehicle expert Simon Mui at the Natural Resources Defense Council says those losses would hit the estimated 200,000 US auto-industry jobs that deal with making vehicles more fuel efficient.

SIMON MUI: The automakers are going to be facing years of uncertainty, right? "According to their analysis, the industry stands to lose $200-$250 billion in revenue, cut investments in technology by $40 billion, and cut jobs in the automotive sector by 60,000 in 2030", writes senior vehicles analyst Dave Cooke.

More than a dozen other states have adopted California's standards.

The former Governor also said that he was exhausted of the fake conservatives who believe in the state's right to make their own policies- as long as state policy is to pollute more.

What if CARB were to react by raising its standard to 50 mpg, up from the current 39.36 mpg for California and the nation? But the state has to get permission or a waiver from the EPA to do it.

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Two former EPA mileage officials said the administration's proposal departed from years of findings on fuel efficiency, auto safety, exhaust emissions and costs.

Meanwhile, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is preparing to file a lawsuit with 19 other state attorneys general to challenge the proposal unveiled yesterday, Miranda Green reports for The Hill. "We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America's drivers".

ANN CARLSON: I think California is in good legal shape.

"This issue is in a way a repeat of an episode that occurred during the George W. Bush administration", said UC Davis environmental law professor Richard Frank.

"We want to make sure that market forces and consumers help choose what vehicles are manufactured, and that the government is not forcing manufacturers to build cars that consumers don't want", said NHTSA Dept. Administrator Heidi King this week.

CARLSON: We've had extraordinary droughts.

"My job as the state's attorney general is to protect my state's rights and interests and the environmental rights of all Pennsylvanians", Shapiro said. We've had heat waves.

As a practical matter, however, the proposed changes could languish in courts for years, allowing California to stay its course in the near term.

California first attempted to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars in 2008, and the Bush administration denied its waiver. It'll be a legal showdown unless the state, the administration and automakers can reach an agreement before then.