EPA’s Scott Pruitt begins repeal of Obama climate regs for cars, trucks

By Michael Bastasch

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday the Obama administration’s fuel economy regulations were not appropriate and would be revised.

Pruitt said EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would begin crafting new greenhouse gas emission and mileage, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), standards for vehicles built in 2022 through 2025.

“The Obama EPA’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in a statement.

“Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality and set the standards too high,” Pruitt said.

EPA’s revising of CAFE regulations also put the agency on a collision course with California. The Golden State got permissions from the Obama administration to issue its own, higher emissions standards.

Conservative groups urged Pruitt to repeal California’s waiver, arguing the state can use its influence over automakers to supplant federal standards. EPA is still examining California’s waiver, but Pruitt seemed critical of continuing the policy as it stands.

“Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country,” Pruitt said. “EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions that allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford – while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars.”

“It’s in everyone’s best interest to have a national standard, and we look forward to working with all states, including California, as we work to finalize that standard,” said Pruitt.

EPA’s is also moving against President Barack Obama’s emissions pledge under the Paris accord, which he joined in 2016. Obama committed the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

The Obama-era rules required cars to get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Officials estimated the rules would cut 540 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and save consumers money.

However, automakers missed fuel efficiency targets for model year 2016 cars and light trucks by about 9 grams per mile. Indeed, the Obama EPA’s own analysis found cars may not meet the 2025 target, only getting between 50 and 52.6 miles per gallon by then.

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2 thoughts on “EPA’s Scott Pruitt begins repeal of Obama climate regs for cars, trucks

  1. If some clown wants to buy a $35,000 EV (if Tesla ever delivers its newer less expensive model, which I seriously doubt), it’s difficut to believe that the 6% sales tax would be a deal braker. As Willem Post points out, Senator Bray is in la la land. Just another hand out. This idea is a distribution of wealth in reverse – the folks underwriting forgiven sales tax for the wealthy. Will Vermonters ever learn?

  2. This a tempest in a teapot.

    The fleet average of NEW cars (not SUVs, minivans, 1/4-ton pick-ups) was supposed to be 54.5 mpg in model year 2025.

    But that assumed there would be at least 1.5 million of NEW plug-in hybrids and plug-in all electrics and the phony, inflated EPA mpg-eq would be averaged into the mix of NEW cars.

    That turned out to be a pure fantasy dreamt up by the EPA and Obama, because THERE WILL NO BE 1.5 million NEW plug-ins in 2025; even each Tesla Model S received a $7000 hand out.

    Senator Bray of Vermont does not get it. He announced he wants to eliminate the sales tax on the first $30,000 cost of buying an EV. He wants to SHIFT the burden of sales taxes from a few upscale-income buyers of electric vehicles onto all other taxpayers. That means upscale-income people benefit at the expense of others.

    This means 1) an $1800 saving for the upscale-income buyers, 2) the state having less revenue and 3) the state having bigger CHRONIC deficits, and 4) other taxpayers paying more. There is no free lunch, except in LaLaLand.

    Legislators like Bray have been giving away the store to please RE constituents for at least a decade.
    Did Vermont’s annual CO2 decrease due to all these RE giveaways these last 10 years? No!
    Throw more money at it? Oh yes, says Bray and other legislators.
    All the hyping about reducing CO2 to “save the world” was just for the benefit of RE interests and to bamboozle the long-suffering Vermonters.

    So the fantasy collapsed.

    The car manufacturers were between a rock and a hard place.

    To maintain the viability US manufacturers, Pruitt had NO CHOICE but to reduce the requirement to about 46 – 47 mpg, which is still is quite a difficult requirement.


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