We all know someone who takes things a bit a too far. In the case of automakers, that someone is EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Back in April April, Pruitt announced a serious rollback of fuel economy regulations that were set in stone during the Obama administration. In a summary of the proposed draft, the EPA would rollback the fleetwide average from 46.8 mpg for the 2026 model year to around 37 mpg - the fleetwide average for the 2020 model year. The draft also mentions pre-empting "California's authority" on setting their own emission standards under the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act. This move has caused California and a collation of other states to file suit over the proposed changes.
According to Automotive News, the changes proposed by Pruitt go a bit too far for automakers. All they wanted was the emission targets for the 2022-2025 model years to "ratchet up more gradually and offer more compliance flexibility." Now, they have to worry about litigation and uncertainty.
"I don't think anybody in industry, when asked for reopening of standards, asked to level out to zero," said an unnamed lobbyist for a major automaker.
However, certain groups argue that automakers should have expected something far-reaching under this current administration.
"You've got to know your audience. If you go to [EPA Administrator] Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump and say you want relief from the rules and they are going to cost jobs, this is what you end up with," said Andrew Linhardt, deputy director of the Sierra Club's clean energy campaign.
Later this week, executives from the major automakers will be meeting with officials at the White House to see if they can get the federal government and California to agree to some sort of comprise.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)