Trump Administration Sets Up To Start Giant Vehicle Emissions Fight This Week
Well folks, the hammer is en route to the bell to start the fight over our nation’s emissions and fuel economy regulations, according to a report from E&E News, which says that the Trump administration will officially propose weakening car emissions standards this week. Until now, the plan had been only available as a draft leaked a few months ago.
According to an anonymous Environmental Protection Agency official, the plan is expected to mirror the draft pretty closely, and while it will offer several options for the public to comment on, the top choice from the administration’s point of view is definitely to freeze fuel economy targets at 2020 levels through 2026.
However, interestingly, the plan is not expected to include a decision to revoke California’s Clean Air Act waiver that gives it the right to create its own vehicle emissions standards. Instead, it will simply solicit public comment on the California Clean Air Act waiver on the subject of greenhouse gases, and on whether or not California’s reason for having the waiver even applies to greenhouse emissions. Apparently, the argument is that waiver is just for addressing local or regional pollution, so shouldn’t give California authority over emissions that contribute to global warming.
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It is unclear how California’s Air Resources Board will receive this plan, but it hardly seems like it would have a favorable response. Meanwhile, the nation’s automakers are left sweating in the middle of it all, facing the prospect of something like half the nation’s population abruptly having different emissions standards, which they really don’t want despite having lobbied hard for the administration to roll back emissions regulations when the Trump administration took office.