In an announcement on April 2nd, 2018 – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to roll back Obama-era regulations on greenhouse gas emissions standards for the automobile industry. Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said in a statement that the standards on model year 2022 to 2025 vehicles were not appropriate and should be revised.
“The Obama Administration’s determination was wrong,” said Scott Pruitt. “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.”Based on these comments it seems the EPA is more concerned with under mining a former US President than with the actual mission of the EPA.
“The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment”
Pruitt also made claims that the regulations imposed by the Obama EPA were unrealistic. According to who exactly? We do not know. He failed to specify data or sources in his statements.
Car makers around the world have been embracing this shift in the industry by developing electric and energy efficient car and trucks. So it seems a bit strange that the head of the EPA is making comments on what the automobile industry can and cannot achieve.
This announcement will open up a long process to weaken current standards and put states like California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts and on a collision course with the federal government over vehicle emissions. These states have imposed even stricter standards than what Washington has currently imposed on the country.
Pruitt is a big proponent of states’ rights to regulate themselves, but opposes these states push for greener cars. The waiver for states to impose its own efficiency standards is being re-examined, the EPA said.
It is in “America’s best interest to have a national standard,” Pruitt said in the release. Automakers obviously want to avoid a patchwork of rules that would add costs to engine manufacturing.
California Governor Jerry Brown blasted the EPA’s action. “This cynical and meretricious abuse of power will poison our air and jeopardize the health of all Americans,” Brown said. Mary Nichols, the head of the California Air Resources Board, said her state “will vigorously defend the existing clean vehicle standards.”
These plans by the EPA are in line with recent action by President Trump. In his first trade deal with South Korea, one of the key highlights of the deal is that South Korea would allow up to 50,000 cars into the country that meet the US safety standards. (Up from 25,000) Beyond that threshold, cars shipped from the United States will have to comply with South Korean safety rules.