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Trump administration adopts nationwide fuel economy rules

Rule expected to spark legal battle between federal government and California

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. EPA moved toward nationwide uniform fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles and light duty trucks by issuing a final action, “One National Program Rule.”

When finalized, the Trump administration claims the proposed Safer, Affordable, Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule standards will save the nation billions of dollars and strengthen the U.S. domestic manufacturing base.

“Today’s action meets President Trump’s commitment to establish uniform fuel economy standards for vehicles across the United States, ensuring that no state has the authority to opt out of the nation’s rules, and no state has the right to impose its policies on the rest of the country,” said Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

“Today, we are delivering on a critical element of President Trump’s commitment to address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “One national standard provides much-needed regulatory certainty for the automotive industry and sets the stage for the Trump Administration’s final SAFE rule that will save lives and promote economic growth by reducing the price of new vehicles to help more Americans purchase newer, cleaner, and safer cars and trucks.”

Today’s action finalizes parts of the SAFE Vehicles Rule that was first proposed on Aug. 2, 2018.

In today’s One National Program Rule, NHTSA and EPA have made the following determinations:

  • Pursuant to Congress’s mandate in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, only the federal government may set fuel economy standards, and state and local governments may not establish their own separate fuel economy standards. This includes state laws that substantially affect fuel economy standards (such as tailpipe GHG emissions standards and ZEV mandates).
  • In addition, EPA is withdrawing the 2013 Clean Air Act waiver that authorized California to pursue its own tailpipe greenhouse gas emission standard (fuel economy standard) and ZEV mandate. As a result, these two programs are also prohibited by the Clean Air Act.
  • Moving forward, California must continue to enforce its programs to address smog and other forms of traditional air pollution caused by motor vehicles. The state must redouble its efforts to address the worst air quality in the United States and finally achieve compliance with EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Source: EPA, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

Related:

The Trump administration action to revoke California’s authority to set its own auto emission standards and to require some zero-emission vehicles will spark a legal battle between Washington and California. – Reuters

Automakers have long argued for relaxed fuel economy standards, but they’ve said the government’s proposed standard goes too far. The Trump proposal sets the fleet-wide fuel economy at 37 mpg. It was set to rise t 46.7 mpg by 2026. - Cnet

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