EPA Revises Emissions for Cars, Light Trucks

Melanie Arter | April 2, 2018 | 7:10pm EDT
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President Donald Trump and EPA Director Scott Pruitt (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it is revising the emissions standards of cars and light trucks, saying the Obama administration cut the process short “with politically charged expediency.”

“Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is announcing the completion of the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025, and his final determination that, in light of recent data, the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised,” the EPA said in a statement.

“Administrator Pruitt is also announcing the start of a joint process with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a notice and comment rulemaking to set more appropriate GHG emissions standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards,” it added.

“The Obama Administration's determination was wrong,” Pruitt said. “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”

The EPA is also reexamining the waiver that California was granted by the Obama administration to set stricter standards for emissions of certain pollutants than the federal government requires.

“Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country. EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions that allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford — while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars,” Pruitt said.

“It is in America's best interest to have a national standard, and we look forward to partnering with all states, including California, as we work to finalize that standard,” he added.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) applauded the EPA’s decision, saying NADA “has long supported a data-driven and informed process for determining future greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, and we applaud EPA for putting us back on this path.”

“America’s franchised auto dealers fully support continuous improvements in fuel economy and vehicle emissions, and we fully support fuel economy requirements that will allow us to build on the progress we’ve already achieved while keeping new vehicles affordable for working men and women all across America,” NADA President and CEO Peter Welch said in a statement.

“Standards alone – whatever they are – won’t do the trick. But smart standards that maintain affordability and encourage fleet turnover will help maximize the number of cleaner, safer and more fuel-efficient vehicles we get on the road every year,” Welch added.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), ranking member of the Energy Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said he was “disappointed” with the EPA’s decision.

“Scott Pruitt continues to defy his own agency experts to appease corporations and big polluters at the expense of our health,” Rush said in a statement.

“This rollback of the clean car standards will hurt American families — forcing them to spend more money on gas, increasing oil consumption, and boosting the pollution driving climate change. Our clean car standards are achievable and working,” the congressman said.

“We should keep moving forward, and resist Scott Pruitt who is determined to take us backwards. This reckless decision to ignore science is Scott Pruitt’s hallmark and I wish he would base his decision on expert advice and not the lobbyists he answers to,” Rush added.

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