Washington D.C. and California Square Off for Years of BS
President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said he plans to review the Obama administration’s recent decision to secure fuel efficiency standards through 2025.
Last week, outgoing EPA administrator Gina McCarthy bumped up the timeline for the final determination on the fuel efficiency rule in the hopes of maintaining the Obama administration’s climate legacy.
“It merits review and I would review that,” Pruitt said at yesterday’s Senate confirmation hearing. Later that same day, Pruitt confirmed that he would not permit California to continue operating under its own rules as part of its 2009 advanced clean cars program and zero emission vehicle mandates.
As predicted, California isn’t interested in being told what to do.
The California Air Resources Board released a report Wednesday considering the future of zero-emission vehicles. CARB says it considers the current national efforts to promote electrification and reduce emissions to be tolerable, but not exactly robust. It says if federal emissions standards are drastically altered by the Trump administration, the state would have to reconsider whether or not to keep its policies synchronized with Washington’s.
“The message we want to send is that post-2025 California is moving not just to moderate, but to very aggressive, stringency on greenhouse gases and zero-emission vehicles,” Joshua Cunningham, chief of CARB’s sustainable transport staff, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’re pushing the boundaries.”
Some automakers have been highly critical of CARB for being impracticable on environmental issues. The Board’s recommendation for no immediate changes to the current mandates is directly counter to the desires of the incoming administration and Global Automakers, a trade group that represents major manufacturers including Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota.
California remains the largest automotive market in North America, giving it the authority to implement and maintain pollution rules that are more stringent than the national standards.
“California will continue to lead the world in addressing climate change and advancing clean energy regardless of who is in the White House or at the EPA,” Kevin de Leon, president of the California senate, said in a statement. “Mr. Pruitt should get used to that and not try to impose his Oklahoma views on the Golden State.”
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It would be less complicated and more cost effective to agree on Global Standards for emissions, fuel efficiency, and safety standards. Realistically that is not going to happen but in the long run it would save the manufacturers money complying with one set of standards and save buyers money. These standards should have input from automotive engineers as well.
Maybe it is impossible but it is worth trying. It costs the manufacturers more to comply with all the different standards but if there were at least Global Standards among the developed countries it would stabilize costs for the manufacturers and ultimately would save the consumer money. Less developed and less prosperous counties would not be subject to these agreed upon Global Standards. Buying more standardized parts that can be shared among different brands and product lines along with sharing Global platforms cuts costs. The auto industry has become more competitive.