In response, California politicians to impose tighter standards as Michigan’s leaders plan for new auto plants.
President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency to shelve aggressive vehicle fuel economy targets that have been a foundation for promoting climate change alarmism policies that have hurt the American automotive industry.
Trump revealed his plans during a speech at an automotive testing center near Detroit after discussing the issue during a round-table meeting at the American Center for Mobility with auto company executives and workers.
“This is going to be a new era for American jobs and job creation,” Trump said at the meeting.
The EPA under Obama had promulgated a rule for cars and trucks requiring a fleet-wide average of 36 mpg in real-world driving by 2025.
Trump’s decision, while having no immediate effect, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to determine no later than April 2018 whether the 2022-2025 standards established are appropriate. If the EPA determines they are not appropriate, the agency will submit a new proposal next year.
I suspect that the new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, will find there was quite a bit that was inappropriate about the jacked-up fuel economy rules, finalized in the waning days of Obama’s presidency.
Pruitt, who has pledged to roll back what he deems burdensome regulations, told CNBC that American automakers wanted to evaluate those standards. He said he believes the rule-making process was rushed.
…”I think that what has been broken in that process is, one, not a recognition of the great progress that’s been made with those standards, but two, those in Detroit, those that are manufacturing autos in this country, expressed to the EPA that they wanted to evaluate the impact of the previous standards. And that was largely And that was largely disregarded.”
Pruitt is not wrong when he says the process was rushed. Legal Insurrection readers will recall that shortly after Trump’s win, the EPA sped-up its rule-making process substantially.
The announcement has California politicos declaring war on the Trump Administration (yet, again).
State officials, pointing to California’s unique authority under the Clean Air Act, have made clear they will not waver from requiring passenger cars to average about 54 miles per gallon by 2025, up from an average of 36 miles per gallon today.
…Under the Clean Air Act, the state can impose emissions standards stronger than those set by the federal government, and a dozen other states have embraced the California rules. About 40% of the vehicles sold in America are subject to the rules California sets. Automakers have said repeatedly that it is untenable to manufacture separate fleets of vehicles to meet different standards.
The state had refrained from charting its own course on mileage goals as part of a compromise with auto companies and the EPA early in the Obama administration. That agreement will start to unravel with Trump’s action. If, as environmental and auto lobbyists anticipate, the administration ultimately decides to weaken the rules, California will almost certainly move to invoke its authority under the waiver to keep higher standards.
“If Washington continues down this road, California will take the necessary actions to preserve current standards and protect the health of our people and the stability of our climate,” Gov. Jerry Brown wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
I suspect that President Trump and key members of his administration will not be moved by California’s excessive political drama as much as they are by Michigan’s potential for automotive production. This is doubly true after considering the 2016 electoral map.
“We want to have new plants built in Michigan, and new plants built in Ohio, and new plants in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and so many other locations,” Trump said.
“We’re going to make thousands and thousands and thousands of additional cars. And we’re going to make them in the United States,” he said.
Trump promised to make the rest of America great again…I only hope he can make California American again. I’d settle for that.