EPA Chief Hints Vehicle Emission Rules Could Tighten Under Trump - With a Twist
It’s certainly taking this fuel economy rollback proposal we’ve heard so much about a long time to evolve into its final form. Unfortunately, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler has indicated more changes could be needed before a final draft can be released. However, in a bit of a twist, he’s now claiming the proposal will actually be more rigorous than preexisting mandates. Kind of.
“In some of the out years, we’re actually more restrictive on CO2 emissions than the Obama proposal was,” Wheeler told a crowd at the Detroit Economic Club this week.
While most believe the final draft won’t be far from the original draft that suggests freezing fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026, the EPA has indicated changes will be made. No specifics were given, though Wheeler expressed a desire to close “loopholes” he believed allowed vehicle-based pollution to slip through the cracks. He was also critical of electric vehicle subsidies, expressing concern that automakers would put most of their focus on pricer EVs (with better margins) or simply raise the price of popular internal-combustion models to offset development costs.
Reuters has more:
On a separate point, Wheeler said the EPA is prepared to enact new regulations to curtail smog, and plans to set new standards next year for nitrogen oxide emissions from heavy trucks.
The Trump administration is embroiled in a legal battle over automotive tailpipe emissions with the State of California and other states that want to keep Obama administration standards, which call for pushing the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles to 46.7 miles per gallon by 2026.
The Trump administration’s earlier proposal called for freezing the average vehicle fuel efficiency target at 37 mpg. Wheeler said he is hopeful California regulators will have a different view when they see the administration’s final proposal.
Only three automakers complied with U.S. fuel efficiency standards in 2017, Wheeler noted, saying the Obama rules “are not based on reality.”
Will California embrace the revamped draft? We sincerely doubt it. Despite the current administration making efforts to make the proposal more eco-friendly and financially responsible, it will still seek to end California’s ability to self-regulate vehicle CO2 emissions. That’ll be a nonstarter on the West Coast.
[Image: Albert H. Teich/Shutterstock]
Jeff S on Oct 24, 2019
Not just smaller turbo engines but lighter more expensive materials like carbon fiber will be used to get the weight down. Also more hybrid systems and use of shutters in grills to control the flow of air. Not a lot of low hanging fruit left to gain more efficiencies and what is left will cost more.
Jeff S on Oct 24, 2019
@highdesertcat--Agree. It's not a matter of the auto manufacturers wanting to make the smaller turbo engines and wanting to eventually be all EV it is that they are planning for more regulations which is the worse case scenario. I believe we still have a few more years before we see the total demise of V8s and even more years before the elimination of ICE which by then I will either be dead or too old to drive or even care. Agree if you really want that Hell Cat buy it soon because its days are limited.
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