EPA maybe leaning towards rejection of Obama vehicle fuel efficiency rules

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to use a Virginia car dealership on Tuesday as the setting to tout its rejection of the Obama administration’s landmark vehicle fuel efficiency regulations. This move can put automakers in the middle of a battle between the Trump administration and California.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt prepares to sign a declaration by Sunday that the Obama administration’s vehicle efficiency rules for 2022 through 2025 are “not appropriate” and must be modified.

Pruitt is expected to address during an event at a Chevrolet dealership in suburban Washington and will joined by groups representing dealers and automakers, according to people knowledgeable with the plans.

The state of California, which has the power to effectively make its own fuel economy standards, several allied states and environmental groups are planning for a legal and political fight over the regulations, aimed at suppressing greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks.

California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols stated in January the board does not consider the standards should be reduced. Pruitt was in California previously this week, but did not meet with Nichols.

Two administration officials and several automakers informed Reuters the timing of proposing revisions to existing fuel economy standards and emissions limits remains in flux. EPA officials talked about a detailed proposal, that could come in late May or June, where as the Transportation Department is pushing for a speedier proposal, automakers and officials stated.

The EPA refused Thursday to discuss Pruitt’s plans. An EPA spokeswoman stated earlier “a final determination will be signed by April 1.”

Automakers want rules to be changed, for addressing lower gasoline prices and a shift in U.S. consumer preferences to bigger, less fuel-efficient vehicles.

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