Donald Trump's pick to lead the EPA signals an intent to perhaps strike down the 54.5 MPG CAFE standards that were recently finalized.
There are all sorts of battles to be fought between the outgoing Obama administration and the almost-here Trump administration. On the automotive front, one big fight is over the EPA's fuel efficiency regulations. Today, Trump's pick to lead the EPA – the anti-EPA Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt – said that he wants to review the MPG rules that the EPA recently finalized. These rules were first agreed to in 2012, by both the administration and the auto industry, and are supposed to regulate the auto industry until 2025.
But there was a process built in to the regulations that allowed for a "mid-term review" process to analyze the how things are going. Late last year, the EPA hinted it would end the review process early in order to set the rules in stone, and then did just that. Pruitt said he wants to look into how the EPA decided upon its course of action. "It merits review and I would review that," he said at his confirmation hearing, according to Reuters.
Many automakers, of course, want the EPA's rules loosened, despite agreeing to them a half-decade ago, and have asked Trump to change the regulations so they can continue to sell dirtier cars. They ask for this even though the EPA said that its decision to lock in the 54.5 MPG rules were made because, "automakers are well positioned to meet the standards at lower costs than previously estimated. The [EPA] Administrator is choosing to retain the current standards to provide regulatory certainty for the auto industry despite a technical record that suggests the standards could be made more stringent." Right-wing groups, of course, don't agree.
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