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Trump reversing direction on Obama-era fuel economy standards

Trump reversing direction on Obama-era fuel economy standards

Trump should get a lot of mileage out of this move when he runs for re-election in 2020.

President Donald Trump has been working hard at erasing his predecessor’s phone-and-pen legacy.

His latest rollback of Obam-era inanity focuses on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its new plans for fuel economy standards.

The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles, handing a victory to car manufacturers and giving them ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide.

The move — which undercuts one of President Barack Obama’s signature efforts to fight climate change — would also propel the Trump administration toward a courtroom clash with California, which has vowed to stick with the stricter rules even if Washington rolls back federal standards. That fight could end up creating one set of rules for cars sold in California and the 12 states that follow its lead, and weaker rules for the rest of the states, in effect splitting the nation into two markets.

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected to frame the initiative as eliminating a regulatory burden on automakers that will result in more affordable trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles for buyers, according to people familiar with the plan.

Essentially, Pruitt intends to eventually replace the standard’s goals implemented by Team Obama that were inspired by the unsound and unachievable California guidelines with values that are rational and practical.

Auto makers are pleased at the new direction:

Manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors initially agreed to the rules as part of a much-heralded agreement, but they later reversed course, arguing that the rules would be too expensive and would threaten U.S. jobs, especially as American motorists begin switching from smaller, fuel-efficient sedans and hybrids to more gas-hungry SUVs and pickups.

The announcement of the rollback plan is essentially the opening of negotiations to help American automakers.

The internal negotiations over relaxing carbon-emissions limits for cars and SUVs slated to be sold in model years 2022 to 2025 underscore the challenge officials face in trying to fulfill President Trump’s 2017 promise to ease the regulatory burden on Detroit.

Some of the same companies that had pressed for action worry that they will be forced to comply with two standards: the stricter specifications that California imposes on its massive auto market and a separate requirement for the rest of the country.

…[T]he more difficult issue is what the replacement will be — a point of intense wrangling among the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and White House. The talks have been complicated by the fact that California sets the pace for nearly 35 percent of the nation’s auto market, with tailpipe requirements followed by a dozen states and the District.

Of course, California’s anti-Trump green activists are asserting the reversal is going to mean another dark era of evil pollution. They are declaring war on Trump…again. This chestnut is from the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board:

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed 28 lawsuits against the Trump administration — a mind-boggling two a month on average — and his mixed success so far suggests some of his efforts are more political statements than surefire winners. But if Becerra sues the administration over its attempt to force California to weaken its vehicle emissions and fuel standards, that won’t be a political fight. It will be a fight to stave off disaster….

I will simply point out that Becerra may be a bit busy, defending California from the “Sanctuary State” lawsuit filed by over a dozen other states and a number of California’s pesky, independent regions.

Furthermore, unlike the sulfur and nitrogen oxides that were substantial factors in LA Basin’s pollution years ago, plants thrive on carbon dioxide. There is plenty of consensus for this bit of science.

The US Commerce Department has just reported that the nation’s economy expanded at a rate of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, which is very close to President Trump’s goal of 3 percent growth.

The reversal of Obama’s economy-crushing rules is a contributing factor to our enhanced prosperity. President Trump should get a lot of mileage out of this fact when he runs for re-election in 2020.


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2nd Ammendment Mother | March 31, 2018 at 10:14 am

Texans had a fun game under Obama which was to calculate economic growth without Texas’ numbers, which generally made the rest of the country show negative growth rates. Might be fun to do the same game and see what it looks like when you take California out of the equation and see if Cali is holding back the national economy.

    I heard a report by the Dallas Fed that Texas manufacturing was down 15% last month. I think that was the time-frame.

    Wonder why…???

      Ratbert in reply to Ragspierre. | March 31, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Show a link or it’s a lie. But then you always lie.

      Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | March 31, 2018 at 11:45 am

      I suggest that you read the article again.

      It states:

      “According to the Dallas Federal Reserve’s monthly Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey, activity at Texas factories continued to expand in March, “albeit at a markedly slower pace than last month.”

      The Dallas Fed reported that “the production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell 15 points to 12.7 (the sixth biggest drop since 2004), signaling a deceleration in output growth. … Other indexes of manufacturing activity also remained positive but posted double-digit declines in March.”

      So, production continued to increase, though the rate of increase was slower in March, than previously. It was the PRODUCTION INDEX, which supposedly fell and from this certain experts are postulating a further deceleration of production GROWTH. Manufacturing did not fall at all, nor is it postulated to fall. This is all about the growth rate.

        oldgoat36 in reply to Mac45. | March 31, 2018 at 7:16 pm

        Growth can be a problematic issue if the company is not set up to handle that growth. It also does indicate that it is a drop of in the rate of growth, which is a natural cycle in manufacturing as markets near saturation points for a given product. This is written in a manner like most businesses do it, if they have a goal of 25% increase in sales, the actual numbers show they had 20% increase, the business then claims it lost 5%, even though that 5% never existed.

        It’s dishonest to make any kind of claim that growth at a slower rate than previously is now a decline, when it is still a positive increase.

          Barry in reply to oldgoat36. | April 1, 2018 at 11:54 am

          “It’s dishonest…”

          Well, it was ragspeepee. No surprise there.

          Look at his protest below. Crybaby. And just note who it is that is always calling people liars. That of course is ragspeepee. He has “character” as well. He’ll tell you so.

          Ragspierre in reply to oldgoat36. | April 1, 2018 at 11:06 pm

          What’s interesting here is that all you can see is me. And you lie your fanatic’s ass off about me.

          You completely miss the point of the Dallas Fed’s report; a serious down-turn in the growth of manufacturing in Texas, the specter of a recession if it continues, and the cause.

          Planned economics by the central government.

      Close The Fed in reply to Ragspierre. | March 31, 2018 at 1:08 pm


      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | March 31, 2018 at 10:22 pm

      OK, this is instructive (for me, too)…

      I related what I remembered of a radio report I heard while driving. Perfectly truthfully.

      The linked article (that I provided) makes clear there was not a NET decline in manufacturing, but that the rate of growth had fallen by that amount. Still no small matter, and still “WHY”?

      I didn’t even have time to read the linked piece this morning before leaving, and have only now read it and the bullshit posted here about me “lying”.

      Also, what Mac.22 relates is a very partial detailing of the story, with his usual economic idiocy laced in.

      “Although Egan stressed that the outlook for Texas’ manufacturing does remain positive, he said, “If there are comparable drops next month, the outlook will turn negative. With further losses from there, we could be looking at an industry-specific recession and the potential loss of thousands of jobs.”

      Why? Again?

      “The Fed report included sample comments grouped by subsectors. Six of the 10 subsectors that make up Texas’ manufacturing industry, including the three biggest subsectors, focused almost exclusively on steel and aluminum tariffs as the cause of their concern.

      Egan said there are three main ways that the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs affect the U.S. economy: by stimulating smelting (applying heat to ore to melt out a base metal), by raising the cost of inputs to downstream firms and through trade-war exchanges. He explained that even before any trade-war consequences, the tariffs are likely to have a negative effect on the economy as U.S. smelting is very small relative to manufacturing, construction and other sectors that use steel and aluminum as inputs.

      “This policy almost surely wouldn’t pass a cost-benefit analysis,” Egan said. “It’s also just not the right direction for the U.S. economy – we have been transitioning into the innovation economy since 1980 and the driving force for U.S. economy growth is now high-technology, not raw material production. It’s very unusual to see a U.S. president place sanctions on domestic firms on U.S. soil. Sanctions are a costly way to bring other nations to the bargaining table; using them on domestic industry goes against mainstream economics and more than 20 years of U.S. policy.”

      Egan pointed out that smelting is energy-intensive and that this would be good for Texas, which is the U.S.’ leading oil and gas state. However, he also said that these gains would be more than outweighed by the impact on Texas’ manufacturing sector, even before any reciprocal trade actions. Texas leads the U.S. with more than $250 billion per year in exports and so is particularly susceptible to tit-for-tat responses from other nations.

      Egan cited the new Tenaris Bay City plant as a local example of the problem for Texas. The Tenaris Bay City plant was opened in December, having received tens of millions of dollars of state and local government subsidies. It’s a $1.8 billion state-of-the-art pipe manufacturing plant and will employ around 600 workers at full capacity.

      “It’s located in Bay City so that Tenaris can ship in raw materials from abroad at international market prices and then have a low transport cost for pipe and other products to the Permian Basin,” Egan said. The plant’s opening was delayed two years, due to the price of oil. “With this large potential hike in their input prices, it’s no longer clear whether plants like Tenaris Bay City will be economically viable,” Egan said.”

      I don’t lie. I do commit errors, as here.

      Butt-hurt Barri is a lying old nutter who constantly lies stupidly and apparently. Why? He’s a lying old nutter and cultist.

      Oldgoat36 should know better. This isn’t a report about “a company”. And it isn’t even a report about one facet of Texas manufacturing, as he’d have known if he’d read the report. Note I’m not calling him a liar. (That a lie often told about me…by liars.)

        Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | April 1, 2018 at 11:57 am

        “Perfectly truthfully.”

        LOL, you couldn’t wait to twist what you heard through those Trump deranged ears. Truth be damned.

        Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 2, 2018 at 12:48 pm

        Rags, buddy. I give you the benefit of the doubt, that you had not thoroughly read the article and had made an honest mistake [something which we all do] and you turn around and attempt to denigrate me. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

        As to a potential down turn in Texas manufacturing, I suppose IF Texas was nuked, or illegal immigrants or Antifa goons ran rampant and destroyed manufacturing facilities, or if a Chinese satellite crashed into Huston this would also cause a negative response in Texas production. Anyone can see disaster in a their crystal ball, if they look hard enough.

        Geez, Rags, take a look at reality. The tariffs on steel and aluminum have already been suspended for Canada and Mexico and reduced or suspended for much of Europe. This significantly changes the future outlook for manufacturing which uses those two metals.

        Look, you made a comment based upon a mistaken recollection of a report. It happens to all of us. At least one person, me, pointed out this mistake and gave you an out, that you had simply misread the article. It was not a condemnation of you personally. When I do that it is crystal clear, you should know.

        Chill out, Francis.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to 2nd Ammendment Mother. | March 31, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Mother, methinks the “real” GDP numbers were all negative all through the Obama years.

    Honestly, think about the things the Obama cult followers are still doing, such as negative interest rates paid on savers’ deposits in banks. (Real Interest Rate = Nominal Interest Rate MINUS Inflation Rate.)

It’s good news, but it will mean little in the long run if Trump simply uses a pen and a phone to reverse obama’s “pen and phone” power grabs.
We need Congress involved to make it hard to go back the next time a Democrat gets the power stick.

    Ragspierre in reply to Exiliado. | March 31, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Right. It’s a good move, but another POTUS could re-impose unicorn engineering of the Barracula type.

      VaGentleman in reply to Ragspierre. | March 31, 2018 at 11:32 am

      That’s why it is so important that we:
      1- elected Trump.
      2- keep him in office.
      3- recognize the right wing #NTers who counseled sitting on the sidelines and letting the left have a cheap victory as the fools they are.

      See, we agree on some things!

        Ragspierre in reply to VaGentleman. | March 31, 2018 at 10:34 pm

        What we agree on is that you cannot refrain from attacking me, even when I note a “good thing” T-rump has done.

        You just demonstrated it again. You cannot control yourself. It’s part of your complex of hatred for one who stands vocally apart from your cult.

        VaGentleman in reply to VaGentleman. | April 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm


        If only that nasty Piglet would quit beating up on poor little rags. LMAO!!

        No matter how many times you lie about it, you are not the victim. Your conduct on LI makes a lie of any claim you make to victimhood.

        Did you ever notice that when someone says, ‘It’s a great idea BUT…’ that ‘BUT’ negates the great idea?. Like when you rote: It’s a good move, but another POTUS could re-impose unicorn engineering of the Barracula type. That POTUS would be someone like Hillary? The person who would be president if you had gotten your wish on Nov 8. Is that what you mean?

        Then you rote: What we agree on is that you cannot refrain from attacking me, even when I note a “good thing” T-rump has done.

        I don’t attack you, I just expose you for the fraud you are.
        Why did you have to quote “good thing”? Why the use of T-rump when you claim you are trying to note a “good thing” [he] has done ? Oh, I got it! It’s part of that big BUT, isn’t it?

        rags rote: I never lie!.. BUT…

          Ragspierre in reply to VaGentleman. | April 1, 2018 at 10:03 pm

          BUT, you lying sack of shit, the clear context of what I said was about a more permanent fix. Via Congress.

          You really are completely deranged. And obviously very happy with it.

          Ragspierre in reply to VaGentleman. | April 1, 2018 at 10:16 pm

          Oh, and you award yourself WAY too much significance. I don’t consider myself a “victim”. I mention your broke-dick tick for what it is…the reflexive attack of a cultist. You are incapable of anything else.

          I can handle everything you and the other members of the T-rump turd-swirl hand out.

California had more restrictive standards than the EPA for 25 years, in regard to motor vehicle emissions. And, the automobile industry made out just fine. The manufacturers either produced all vehicles to the California standards or produced only a limited run of such vehicles every year. Loosening the national emission standards does not require auto makers to adhere only to those standards. They can choose to conform to higher standards. The only hardship they face is making the decision of how to proceed.

As a forty-year veteran of the automobile industry (engineering–>planning–>sales management) who retired from a major international automaker nine years ago, I have two simple words:

Yeah baby!

Not even Øbama and Holder can ignore/disregard the LAWS OF PHYSICS.

Close The Fed | March 31, 2018 at 1:10 pm

California definitely screws up the auto industry.

The demands made of automobile manufacturers for emissions led to at least some companies being dishonest about their testing results. I believe VW had a major issue come up (though it might be another company) with their reported MPG and how it was tested.

I’m fine with making continued improvements to any piece of equipment, that is what all companies should be doing, but they have to be realistic, and from what I recall of the numbers being requested, manufacturers were highly concerned because the required emissions were either unrealistic to attain, or far too costly to be effective while trying to sell their product. Obama’s EPA rules were a veiled attempt to move to electric cars, as engines were not likely to be compliant.

I think that is the true reason for this scaling back move.

Too bad he’s not reversing the renewable fuel standards as well… I guess he loves sucking him some Iowa corn cob.

I thought CA was going only electric cars & trucks so fuel economy did not matter. Or, CA can create Sacramento Motors and build the cars & trucks they want. A Fiat-sized car would be free for illegals and about $800,000 for everybody else. The ruling class would drive SUVs of course.

The three main effects of the fuel economy laws:
First, low hanging fruit like four and five speed transmissions with a highway care, aerodynamics better than a brick and a bit later, higher volumetric efficiency for existing engine designs were adopted (e. g, the brilliant LS series at GM). That was an improvement.

Second, As the regulations blew past improvements that could be readily engineered, cars were forced to shrink, and then shrink some more. People didn’t like that so ——
They bought trucks, SUVs, and now crossovers, which are just cars reshaped (and made uglier) so they fit into the SUV claasification. That means they must be taller, heavier, with where is aerodynamics and larger wheels. All of that means they use more gas.

Third more houses were built further away from where the jobs are, because it was now cheap enough to commute twice as far.

The net result was the lock-in patterns of higher fuel consumption.

Rags: “I didn’t even have time to read the linked piece this morning before leaving”

The Dean of the Sally Struthers School of Law must be so proud of you.

judgeroybean | April 1, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Let Kaliphornia mandate the highest standards in the nation. When automobile manufacturers decide not to go along with Kaliphornia’s plans, let Kaliphornia deal with no more new vehicles being sold in the state.