Trump To Review Feasibility Of US Emissions Laws

Donald Trump Mary Barra Sergio Marchionne in White House

Automakers have said they're not feasible. Back in 2012, Peter Kent, the environment minister in the Conservative government of the time, unveiled new rules aimed at cutting emissions and fuel consumption after the US government finalized its own standards. If the state's motion is granted, California will be able to defend the federal regulations in court, and attempt to prevent efforts to undo the 2022-25 standards.

There are other disputes on the horizon between California and the Trump administration, but this is the first big one.

Donald Trump announced he will restore the midterm review of fuel efficiency standards and pledged to protect factories and jobs as he addressed automobile industry employees at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., Wednesday. Trump said he had kept his promise to withdraw the US from the TPP, an agreement that former President Barack Obama pursued with 11 other Pacific Rim nations.

Although the Trump administration says it hasn't decided whether to weaken the requirements, Trump has promised the CEOs of major auto companies that he'll reduce "unnecessary regulations".

Gov. Jerry Brown of California was more scathing in a letter to the new Environmental Protection Agency director (and climate-change denier) Scott Pruitt.

The news is a blow for the Democrats and climate change advocates, who got a last-minute win under the Obama presidency with a bill that put into place emission standards that aimed to double the mileage per gallon to 54.5 by 2025, up from the current standard of 27.5 miles that was put in place in 2010. An extensive technical study by the Environmental Protection Agency already found that the standards are fully and economically achievable by the auto industry. "Undoing the fuel economy standards will also lead to costly litigation and create needless uncertainty for the auto industry, threatening the economic and employment gains automakers have made in recent years". The deadline for that was April 2018.


Currently, California and federal standards are mostly the same.

Trump in the White House and a fossil fuel ally at the helm of the EPA may have been seen as openings to scrap the stricter standards. So Trump has an opportunity to review the rules and potentially cancel them. It's unclear whether he will talk about those issues in the roundtable with auto industry CEOs. However, the government says fuel savings would more than offset the added costs.

A senior White House official said Tuesday that the administration wants to negotiate one national standard. He spoke on condition of anonymity even though Trump has criticized the use of unnamed sources.

"We're going to pull back the EPA's determination because we don't think it's right and we're going to spend another year looking at the data in front of us", the official said.

The feds have some leverage: A new waiver will be needed in 2025. "These standards are improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles across all classes, spurring innovation of electric vehicles and other technologies, cutting oil use, reducing emissions, and saving drivers money in fueling costs".

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