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Trump Officials to Meet With California Air Resources Board Chairman To Hash Out Emissions, Fuel Economy Rules

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California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols

California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols
Photo: California Air Resources Board

Tensions have been rising higher and higher over the fate of our nation’s fuel efficiency and emissions regulations, most recently leading to a lawsuit being filed by a collection of states (including California, New York, the District of Columbia, and 14 others) against the EPA to prevent the rules from being frozen or rolled back. The current regulations were originally set by the Obama administration, leading to strong automaker complaints.

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Now, after meeting with the heads of various automakers, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and NHTSA deputy administrator Heidi King are meeting with Mary Nichols, the leader of California’s Air Resources Board, to discuss the standards. Somewhat surprisingly given how often these names are discussed in similar contexts, this will be the first in-person meeting for the three.

As a side meeting, Nichols has said that she will also be meeting separately with automotive industry trade associations while she is in the capitol. Most likely, the auto industry associations will tell her the same message that the automakers released in the face of the threat of a California vs. EPA lawsuit: automakers want one national standard of fuel efficiency, not some patchwork affair, and in general they would rather just have the more stringent standards than have to wait in uncertainty as the two sides duked it out over years of court proceedings.

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President Trump directed regulators to try and make a deal with California officials to revise the standards, but what sort of deal that will be remains to be seen.

News Source: Automotive News