The Environmental Protection Agency has today proposed to keep its vehicle emission targets through 2025, shocking a lot of people and possibly setting up a major fight between regulators and the automotive industry.
According to Automotive News, the proposal will now enter a 30-day comment period. After this period, the EPA administrator could finalize this proposal and begin enforcing these standards a bit quicker. By 2025, automakers will need to increase their to 54.5 miles per gallon corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers to 54.5 miles per gallon.
Why move the proposal up now? A proposal was expected next year with a final decision in 2018. The EPA said in a statement their “extensive technical analysis” has shown no reason as to why the timeframe or standards should be changed. Also, automakers will be able to achieve those 2025 standards at “similar or even a lower cost”.
“Due to the industry’s rapid technological advancement, the technical record could arguably support strengthening the 2022-2025 standards. However, the administrator’s judgment is [that] now is not the time to introduce uncertainty by changing the standards. The industry has made huge investments in fuel efficiency and low emissions technologies based on these standards, and any changes now may disrupt those plans,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on a conference call.
That analysis started back in July and is used to determine whether or not the EPA needs to make adjustments to the regulations or schedule.
But there might be another reason. With President Obama leaving the White House on January 20th and President-elect Donald Trump, there are concerns that Trump's administration could challenge the regulations. By doing this now, it would make the process of undoing these regulations more complicated - notice and comment requirements, possible court battle with environmental groups, etc. McCabe denied this, saying the decision was based on analysis and a “rigorous technical record,”
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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