The US EPA is pursuing a rollback of earlier plans (implemented under Obama’s presidency) to raise the new-vehicle fuel-efficiency standard to nearly 50 miles per gallon by 2025 (that would be a fleet-level requirement, not model level). In response to that, 11 US states have now revealed an intention to oppose the rollback.
The opposition to the rollback of the plans — headed by 11 states in concert with Washington, DC, and also with support from numerous mayors around the country — will be pursued through the legal system, with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra threatening to sue in defense of the standards.
“All Americans … deserve to enjoy fuel-efficient, low-emission cars, and light trucks that save money on gas, improve our health and support American jobs,” read a statement signed by the attorney generals from 11 states.
Reuters provides more: “California has long been allowed by an EPA waiver to impose stricter standards than Washington does on vehicle emissions of some pollutants. And 12 other states follow California’s lead on cleaner cars. … The statement, also signed by more than 50 mayors from around the country, said automakers have been making progress in meeting the national standards and that compliance costs have been lower than projected.
“Auto industry executives have not publicly sought specific reductions in the requirements negotiated with the Obama administration in 2011 as part of a bailout deal. But they have urged (EPA head Scott) Pruitt and President Donald Trump to revise the standards so it becomes easier and less costly to meet the targets. Pruitt defended his decision at EPA headquarters on Tuesday.”
At the time, Pruitt was quoted as saying: “We have nothing to be apologetic about with respect to the progress we’ve made in reducing emissions as a country,” before then segueing into a comment about how the rollback would mean that consumers aren’t forced to purchase vehicles that are more expensive than they otherwise would be due to higher fuel-efficiency standards.
Perhaps, I suppose, but then again, they would be paying far less for fuel, would they not? And would companies like Honda and Toyota actually end up needing to raise their prices? Doubtful, in my opinion.