An announcement was recently made by the Trump administration highlighting the intention to revise the fuel-efficiency regulations put in place under the administration of Obama. According to the EPA, the regulations for cars and trucks are too strict. In addition, the EPA is looking at revoking California’s right to set its own emission rules, which have historically been tougher than the rest of the country.
President Obama set the national greenhouse emission targets as part of his climate-change policy, but Scott Pruitt, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency released a statement earlier this month saying that the targets are too aggressive.
Unsurprisingly, the decision to repeal the current emission targets drew some pretty harsh criticism from environmental groups. For most, it’s just another bullet point on a long list of President Trump’s intent to undo many measures put in place to battle climate change, like the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
Leading environmentalists said that the public supports the current standards because it not only reduces environmental impact, but it also reduces the costs of driving. They went on to say that repealing the current targets is “unwarranted and irresponsible.”
It’s also no surprise that the automotive industry is in support of the decision to dial back the targets. Most automakers feel that the Obama administration cut out vital components of the review process used to determine the regulations and rushed the process. Under the Obama regulations, the goal was to have the average fuel economy for the US fleet of cars and light trucks at over 50 mpg by 2025. The automotive industry believes that will make new cars too expensive for the average consumer and that it’s wiser to keep new cars affordable so they can replace older, less efficient vehicles.
The decision to revoke California’s ability to set its own regulations is also being met with some serious resistance. Officials in the state have vowed to resist Trump and the state Attorney General has threatened a lawsuit should the plan to revoke move forward.
While there seems to be support on both sides of the decision, moving forward with a repeal will no doubt spark more outcries from environmentalists which will likely lead to some messy legal battles.