In a move intended to save automakers’ money, the EPA and the Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced they will revisit the Obama administration’s rule that finalized standards to increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025.
“These standards are costly for automakers and the American people,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic. This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment.”
The EPA action revisits the midterm review process, which the federal agencies agreed to conduct as part of the 2012 final greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017-2025. Without this midterm review, the automakers would not agree to back the federal rules.
The midterm review required the EPA to determine by April 1, 2018, whether the 2022-2025 standards established are appropriate.
But instead of waiting until April 2018, the EPA in January finalized the emissions standards and ended the midterm review — a political move to push the rules through before then President-elect Donald Trump took office, according to automakers.
Automakers have accused the EPA of rushing the process in a political move to push the rules through before President-elect Donald Trump takes office Jan. 20.
While automakers and manufacturers praised the EPA’s announcement to reconsider the so-called clean car standards, the Trump administration’s move will have little immediate impact on automakers, Morning Consult reports.
Federal regulators haven’t decided what emissions standards would be approved and plan to “spend another year looking at the data in front of us,” a White House senior official told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.
Automakers aren’t looking to eliminate the clean car rules they agreed to under Obama, Representative Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat and former GM executive, told Industry Week. The review will offer a forum for all parties to reach consensus on the standards, she told the magazine.
“My goal is to bring permanent peace between California, Michigan and the rest of the country and have everybody working together toward strong fuel economy standards,” Dingell said. “That was the beauty of the process that President Obama established and the agreement that was reached.”