The Trump administration has announced recently that it will be looking to overrule the national emission rules for the United States, essentially overthrowing one of President Obama’s biggest efforts in battling climate change. The decision isn’t sitting too well with several states. In fact, 18 states are suing the administration regarding the decision.
Scott Pruitt, the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency announced in April that he would look at the Obama-era efficiency rules, which aim to raise the requirements to about 50 miles per gallon for the U.S. fleet by 2025. Pruitt’s team claim that the rules were based on outdated information and that current research suggests that the rules set by Obama’s administration are too strict.
The lawsuit, filed on May 1st, claims that the EPA acted “capriciously and arbitrarily” when it made the decision to repeal the emission standards. The proposal drafted by the Trump administration regarding the climate policy and cars and light trucks would essentially freeze the federal standards at the 2021 levels, which are far below the targets set by Obama. The same proposal would attempt to repeal California’s ability to set its own standards when it comes to fuel efficiency.
California has separate standards because of the size of the state’s car market, and it’s contributed to automakers making more fuel-efficient vehicles.
California isn’t the only state that’s made an effort to set stricter emission laws. Twelve other states that are participating in the lawsuit have also attempted to set more stringent rules. Overall, the rules affect about 36% of the auto sales in the United States.
The recent legal battle will likely leave the major automakers stuck in the middle, and it seems that the support is divided.
An industry association called The Auto Alliance seems to support the EPA’s decision to repeal the current standards.
Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company’s executive chairman doesn’t feel the same. He recently wrote, “We support increasing clean car standards through 2025 and are not asking for a rollback.”
General Motors, the country’s biggest car manufacturer, said that they hope to have 20 different electric car models available by 2023.
One thing is for certain, the outcome of the recent legal battle will likely effect vehicle sales when it’s all said and done.