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Environmental Policy – Brief 30

EPA Press Release on GHG Emission Standards


Earlier this month Pruitt announced another step in Trump’s “regulatory agenda” with the plan to lessen automotive regulations on emissions and fuel economy. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were revised in 2010 to require a minimum fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles to the gallon (double the current typical average)  by model year 2025.  Pruitt has promised these regulations will be replaced by a new set developed in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These new regulations have not yet been developed. Pruitt has also noted that California specifically has unreasonable standards. Various CA politicians immediately responded that they would hold their state to higher standards and have recently taken legal action along with 17 other states.


While the Obama Era regulations have not yet been replaced, there is the expectation that the new set of rules will drastically decrease the existing requirements. The EPA has made it clear that it views the Obama Era rules as a regulatory burden and that dispensing with the rules will allow automotive companies to produce more affordable vehicles. Before this announcement was made on April 2, 2018, the Department of Transportation announced that it would not enforce the associate fines for failing to meet the CAFE standards, unofficially nullifying the regulations. Many environmental agencies are concerned about the implications of the rollback as it pertains to global warming. In the opinion of many scientists, fuel efficiency and emissions requirements are the best way to tackle climate change. Decreased pollution and decreased oil usage on a national scale would be significant. However, Pruitt has made his loyalties very clear with his rollback announcement location: A car dealership in Northern Virginia. Meetings were held in the Oval Office with major automakers within weeks of Trump’s Inauguration about these impending rules, and the Auto Alliance stated in a regulatory filing in February that climate science cannot be fully trusted.

Engagement Resources

Read more about the lawsuit filed by California, et.al. against the EPA

Check out the NYT Graphics about Emissions

Read more about the Evaluation of the Obama Era rules by the EPA

This brief was compiled by Megan Toney. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact megan@usresistnews.org.

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