EPA May Lower Fuel Efficiency Standards Set During Obama Administration

The CAFE standards that set fuel efficiency marks for the auto industry will be reopened for review, the Trump administration says. Here, vehicles refuel at a roadside gas station in New Mexico.

The CAFE standards that set fuel efficiency marks for the auto industry will be reopened for review, the Trump administration says. Here, vehicles refuel at a roadside gas station in New Mexico. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. automakers may not have to reach fuel efficiency standards that were set during President Obama’s administration, as the Environmental Protection Agency says it’s reopening a review of the rules.

President Trump is expected to make that announcement Wednesday in meetings with auto industry executives and workers in Michigan.

In Washington, a senior White House official said the president wants to “set standards that are technologically feasible, economically feasible and allow the auto industry to grow and create jobs.”

The Obama-era rules stemmed from an agreement the government reached with major vehicles in the summer of 2011, setting carbon dioxide emissions targets for passenger cars and light trucks that were equivalent to the industry’s fleet of achieving an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year.

The reopening of the rules review comes after a request from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group that represents both domestic and foreign automakers. The group’s request came last month, after the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator.

Changing the standards isn’t expected to be a simple process. Noting that an agreement usually includes the EPA, the Department of Transportation and the state of California, NPR’s Sonari Glinton reports about the regulations on today’s Morning Edition:

“There is a question in here about whether these regulations were ‘final-final.’ But the White House wants to review them in 2018, and so do the automakers. And essentially there’s going to be a battle every inch of the way. Many environmental groups are just waiting to file suit. But to be clear, this is just whether to review a regulation — we’re not necessarily at the point of changing the fuel standards quite yet.”

The EPA is expected to attempt to roll back rules that the Obama administration formally unveiled in 2012, when it mandated nearly doubling Read More …

Source:: Science

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