Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would be rolling back the fuel-efficiency regulations that were approved during the Obama administration. The agency also announced possibly revoking California's waiver that allows it to set tougher standards on vehicle emissions. The state vowed to fight this. But a new report from the New York Times says California and officials from the Trump administration are in talks about possibly reaching a deal to avoid a legal fight.
Speaking to a half-dozen of sources briefed about the talks, the Times reports that the two parties, along with representatives of major automakers, "are searching for a compromise that could save a uniform set of standards for the entire country."
One of the proposals on the table is to keep the Obama fuel economy standards, but allow automakers to take advantage of more generous loopholes to meet them. In turn, the Trump administration would honor California's wavier through 2030. There could be other proposals in the cards as the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the White House begin to coordinate their various strategies.
There are a number of obstacles that could derail the talks. Various automakers "are in different positions” on how to proceed with the talks. According to a source, some are focused on rolling back the standards through 2025, while others want to have the discussion to reach a compromise to avoid having to build vehicles to different standards. The talks themselves seem to be spinning their wheels. Last week, William Wehrum, the EPA's senior clean air adviser met with Mary D. Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board. Depending on who you ask, the meeting didn't amount to anything or was considered to be productive.
Source: New York Times