Showdown With California Looms As EPA Refuses To Extend Fuel-Economy Rules

President Donald Trump is traveling to California Tuesday for his first visit to the US's most populous state since taking office. But back in Washington, the administration has launched its latest salvo in its battle with the Sunshine State.

Per Bloomberg, the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday signaled that it won't dictate the future of ambitious automobile fuel economy regulations adopted during the Obama administration.

"California is not the arbiter of these issues," Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told Bloomberg News in an interview. California regulates greenhouse gas emissions at the state level, "but that shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be."

During a Tuesday morning interview with Bloomberg, EPA chief Scott Pruitt said the EPA likely wouldn't consider extending fuel economy standards beyond 2025. That statement is tantamount to a rejection of California's offer to ease its standards in an exchange for an extension.

Pruitt said the EPA is not "presently" looking at extending standards beyond 2025. California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols has signaled a willingness to discuss altering the state’s auto rules in the near term if the Trump administration agrees to develop efficiency targets further into the future.

Automakers aggressively lobbied Trump to take a new look at the standards, arguing they need to be reviewed in light of surging light-truck sales, low gasoline prices and tepid demand for plug-in vehicles.

Even so, the companies have repeatedly stressed in recent weeks that they hope the federal government and California will continue coordinating their tailpipe emissions policies. They’ve also invested billions of dollars in electric cars aimed not just at California but also overseas markets, especially China.

In making this decision, Pruitt reasons that setting overly stringent fuel-economy standards for automakers would be counterproductive because they could encourage people to keep older cars for longer.

"The whole purpose of CAFE standards is to make cars more efficient that people are actually buying," Pruitt said. "If you just come in and try to drive this to a point where the auto sector in Detroit just makes cars that people don’t want to purchase, then people are staying in older cars, and the emission levels are worse, which defeats the overall purpose of what we’re trying to achieve."

The agency has until the beginning of next month to determine whether broad-based fuel economy standards adopted under President Obama should be revised, or left alone.

This isn't the first time Pruitt has moved to roll back some EPA regulations. Already, President Donald Trump’s administration previously ripped up the EPA’s conclusion that no changes are needed. That conclusion was issued by the Obama White House in the waning days of his administration.

Pruitt

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt

The emissions rules were adopted seven years ago and are meant to be enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the EPA and the California Air Resources Board. The standards were designed to get more restrictive each year through 2025. The requirements target a fleet average of more than 50 miles per gallon, equivalent to about 36 mpg in real-world driving.

"We want to hear from those folks in California and hear from the political leadership and try to make some informed decisions, but also say at the same time, we have a job to do," Pruitt said. "We’re going to do our job. And if there are steps being taken to impede that, we’ll have to address that."

Pruitt told Bloomberg that there are still open questions about whether climate change is caused by human activity. Pruitt also played down the EPA's role in a recent government study which determined that it's "extremely likely that human activity" is contributing to climate change.

Comments

Sudden Debt Drater Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:57 Permalink

It's forcing people to buy new cars.

In my country, older cars that are over 10 years old are forbidden to enter the big cities.

You want to enter with your car, you need a new car.

 

Now, that's called income based driving. And there are even talks that in 2030 they only will allow electric cars.

All cool but the price is a bitch, electric car batteries will be offered on a lease base so cars will become to expensive for the average worker.

 

And the weird part is that young people agree with these kinds of things because they don't realise a car also means freedom.

 

I'm glad I live now and not in 2050 for example. We've already had the best of times behind us. If  I see how my young kids live, it's totally different of how we lived. And they get everything they wan so it's nothing financially

In reply to by Drater

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sudden Debt Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:06 Permalink

I owned a Honda Civic Hybrid for ten years. The battery was huge and expensive. I had it replaced twice, both at the expense of Honda. Once while it was under warranty and a second time due to a recall. $4500 to buy the battery and I have no idea how much to dump it. There is no place that recycles those batteries. They go to the landfill. My last hybrid car. Ever. Stupid idea and very toxic to the environment. The Eco freaks didn't calculate what to do with the massive batteries.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

just the tip HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:52 Permalink

it is not just the batteries past tense.  as in what to do with them after.  the greatest harm to the environment comes from the manufacture of those batteries.  wind turbine generators and solar panels.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/baotou-a-toxic-lake-crea…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_UdqZdFr-w

stated differently, and accurately, with nuclear radiation is only with us for a little over 550,000 years.  after that it's no different from the gravel in your driveway, or someone else's driveway.

lake baotou will remain as it is for all of eternity.

and both are just as deadly now.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

vato poco just the tip Tue, 03/13/2018 - 19:41 Permalink

it's OUT-fuckin-STANDING, is what it IS.

anybody with 15 years of life experience and IQ above room temp knows there's an easy, simple way to stop leftists/liberals and their endless, relentless demands in their tracks: you say "no." you say "fuck off." you say "your tantrums mean jack shit to me."

and then you apply as much balls/guts/steel as necessary to make it stick. it's not hard: they're liberal pussies. they'll cave.

and now Donald J. Trump, the God-Emperor, and his trusty servant are actually going out and DOING it!

hallelujah. Scott Pruitt for President 2024. you read it here first

In reply to by just the tip

jcaz vato poco Tue, 03/13/2018 - 20:09 Permalink

Shutting down the CAFE serpent is key. 

Notice that they no longer call themselves "CAFE"- it's now "AFE"-  as in, coming to a theater near you soon.

These assholes have destroyed an economy with their inane regulations that are based entirely in politics, not any real environmental science.

Department of Education next-  keep the ball rolling, Trump.

In reply to by vato poco

dot.dot MasterControl Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

Very few choices for those who wish to drive a vehicle w/ the protection of a full ladder frame.  When my wife's F150 needed replaced we had very few options -outside of another p/u.  Ended-up w/ a GMC Yukon.  Nice vehicle, but pricey for what they are.  The alternatives were mostly death traps.

I drive a Honda, which isn't very big (death trap), and even it falls well short of 38MPG.  You know Obama was wanting us all to ride bicycles.  

So glad that fucker is gone.

In reply to by MasterControl

zimboe dot.dot Wed, 03/14/2018 - 02:23 Permalink

I drive a 96 Crown Vic. Full frame(nearly the last of them), runs forever, 4240 lbs of steel. Cruises at 100 mph all day.

I feel pretty safe. Only 20 Mpg, but what price safety?

Same model as a cop car.

It's funny as hell to watch the corner crack dealers just kinda melt away as I cruise slowly as a cop will down Paramount Boulevard wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

Heh.

In reply to by dot.dot

lincolnsteffens PacOps Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:49 Permalink

If GHW Bush, GW Bush and BH Obama ever get outed as unlawfully acting as President everything they signed into Law would be null and void.

I listened to a guy say that when Prescot Bush got convicted of trading with the enemy his fine included that his children and grand children were barred from serving in public office.

In reply to by PacOps

RafterManFMJ WillyGroper Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

I invented a car that runs on the fat from honest politicians and unicorn farts - but time-traveling clones of N. Tesla assassinated most of me across the multi-verse and as soon as this brane universe pinches off like a turd in the cosmic outhouse this too will be lost, like tears in rain.

In reply to by WillyGroper

8-2-1776 Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:21 Permalink

California is not the Sunshine Stae, it is the Eureka State.

....has launched its latest salvo in its battle with the Sunshine State.

Florida is the Sunshine State.

 

cbxer55 Thoreau Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:40 Permalink

Four vehicles. 

1998 Ford Ranger, had it 18 years.

2004 Ford Lightning, had it 9 years.

2006 Suzuki M109R, had it 12 years.

2008 Suzuki B-King, bought from a friend last year who has owned it since new. 

Hint, not buying any new vehicle anytime in this lifetime. Most especially if it's some STUPID electric or hybrid environment polluter. 

 

In reply to by Thoreau