EPA set to announce rejection of Obama vehicle fuel efficiency rules

By Justin Pham 3/30/2018

In a move that may put automakers in a position between California and the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to reject the Obama administration’s landmark fuel efficiency rules in Virginia. The ruling would weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards allowing automakers to potentially roll back on industry standards worldwide.

According to the New York Times, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program Robert Stavins said “The Result will be more gas-guzzling vehicles on the road, greater total gasoline consumption, and a significant increase in carbon dioxide emissions.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to sign a declaration by Sunday stating that the Obama administration’s vehicle efficiency rules for 2022 to 2025 are “not appropriate” and need to be revised. Pruitt is expected to frame the initiative as a removal of a regulatory burden on automakers. The change could result in more affordable trucks, vans, and utility vehicles according to people familiar with the plan.

The move would also set the Trump administration toward a clash California which has chosen to stick with the stricter rules even if the Trump administration rolls back federal standards. The clash could lead to two different set of rules, one for cars sold in California and the 12 states that follow its lead, and another set of rules for the remaining states. The announcement is expected on tuesday and would be the first legal step toward this process.