EPA Not Backing Down On 2025 Emissions Standards

5 months ago by Steven Loveday 44

John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Global Automakers from - "We look forward to working with Environmental Protection Agency, NHTSA and CARB on harmonized standards that are achievable, cost-effective, and most importantly account for the needs of customers"

John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Global Automakers“We look forward to working with Environmental Protection Agency, NHTSA and CARB on harmonized standards that are achievable, cost-effective, and most importantly account for the needs of customers.”  Basic translation as we understand it:  We look forward to the new administration putting environmental groups and protection agencies under its thumb for the automaker’s benefit.

Only a week prior to President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now set vehicle emissions standards that should remain in place until 2025. The standards are based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) current fuel economy regulations.

The EPA looked at whether or not automakers were able to comply with regulations from 2012 to 2017, and the findings were positive. It was also determined that despite automakers’ complaints, the cost associated with compliance was less than anticipated. The EPA was required to meet soon to look at the next move which will cover 2022 through 2025. The agency met earlier than required to assure that numbers were in place, prior to the change in administration.

Ford CEO Mark Fields has been a leader in the surge against the EPA

Ford CEO Mark Fields has been a leader in the surge against fuel efficient standards

In November, the EPA had already stated that it would likely keep future emissions standards in place. The day after the presidential election, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers sent a letter to Trump, asking for “more relaxed” standards, or even an elimination of the EPA policy. At the least, the group hoped for a delay in the standards.

Obviously, the alliance is now further upset by the Environmental Protection Agency’s swift actions. The Global Automakers are criticizing the EPA and blaming high vehicle costs and imminent loss of U.S. jobs on the agency’s decisions. The alliance has no plans to back down, and is already gearing up to go to work with Trump on getting its way.

Just as the automakers’ alliance is fighting against the EPA’s ruling, there are many environmental groups that are elated to see the positive results. These groups are lobbying against the automakers and supporting the EPA fully.

Now in place and approved by the current administration, overturning the approved mandate is no easy task, and is fraught with many regulatory challenges.

To turn back the decision would involve disputing the science/exhaustive study in place, and replacing it with a new finding (none of which has even begun).  While at the same time, such an action opens the proceedings up to lawsuits from other agencies and environmental groups for attempting to do so.  Basically, it is a very long, and very hard road for the new administration to forge – and it would be a very public (and likely unpopular) one.

Keep in mind that the EPA’s sole responsibility in all of this lies in emissions standards. The agency has no power to regulate fuel efficiency. The NHTSA sets those parameters, as a team effort with the EPA. Many people fear that in the future, this team effort may become compromised.

The NHTSA has yet to secure future Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. This allows an opportunity for the agency’s regulations to come into conflict with the EPA. While the Trump administration will experience multiple difficulties in changing the EPA standards, the impact on the NHTSA’s decisions won’t be very difficult.

Sources: Green Car Reports, EPA

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

44 responses to "EPA Not Backing Down On 2025 Emissions Standards"

  1. Ted D. says:

    I own a 2013 Volt & 2014 Cad ELR. Since I have owned those vehicles, I have obtained in excess of 100 MPG on the vehicles. With the positive growth in EV sales, by 2025, the average fuel efficiency rate (EV & ICE) of all vehicles will probably meet or exceed EPA’s goals.
    PS. Both of my vehicles (Volt & ELR) have 16.5KW batterys. On the ELR, the computer allows me to utilize 12.4KWs out of the 16.5KW whereas the Volt only allows a usage of 10.3KW out of the 16.5KW.

    1. Aaron says:

      * not including electricity use.

      Please don’t quote the MPG number from the display in your Volt/ELR. It doesn’t take into account your electricity use.

      Good job on using both gas and electricity, though. Some Volt users don’t use any gas, meaning they would have been better off buying an EV in the first place.

      1. Ziv says:

        Aaron, I usually tell people I get 750 mpg plus I use $20 of electricity per month, but I only drive 800 miles a month.
        It isn’t exact, but I think it is useful for people to understand just how little gasoline a Volt/ELR can use.
        Considering how inexpensive electricity is, I can understand why a lot of Voltec owners leave the electricity part out of the description.

      2. Nick says:

        Haha!

        100 MPG, not including .125 gallons of electricity.

        Combined MPG for a PHEV is silly.

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I think this article should have been labeled “op-ed”. I find the tone to be that of whistling past the graveyard.

    Those who don’t think the Trumpster administration can just as easily undo what the outgoing Obama administration did at the last minute… are sadly in for a rude awakening.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Based on what exactly?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Based on the fact that none of these last-minute changes have the force of law; they’re just regulations imposed by the outgoing head of the EPA, who will very soon be replaced by Trump’s pick, a climate change skeptic who has repeatedly sued the EPA to get exceptions to regulations he doesn’t like. The new head of the EPA can easily cancel or change these last-minute changes, just as easily as the current, outgoing head of the EPA made them.

        http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/07/politics/trump-picks-scott-pruitt-to-head-epa/

        1. DonC says:

          Your ignorance continues to amaze. There is no easy way to ignore the plain language of the Clean Air Act and no way to reverse the final determination concerning the TAR. What part of “final” don’t you understand?

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            DonC ranted:

            “Your ignorance continues to amaze.”

            Your amazement is a perfect example of the Dunning–Kruger effect in action.

            “There is no easy way to ignore the plain language of the Clean Air Act…”

            Since the Supreme Court has ruled at least four times on interpretations of the Clean Air Act, it seems the courts don’t share your, um, legal opinion.

            “…and no way to reverse the final determination concerning the TAR.”

            I’m sure that will come as a great surprise to everyone who works for any bureaucracy, including the EPA.

            “What part of ‘final’ don’t you understand?”

            I wonder just how many weeks it will be until you have to eat your words here. I’m guessing not many.

            1. Scott Franco says:

              “you are stupid”…. is not an argument.

              Pushmi-Pullyu is correct. See for example the running articles in the Wall St. Journal about the means to overturn EPA “last minute” rulings.

          2. Nix says:

            Along with simply undoing things done at the administrative level, they can re-write or repeal any law they want. Including the entire Clean Air Act, and close the EPA.

          3. super390 says:

            For an example of what could go wrong, consider that in 1865 Black Southerners surely thought that their right to vote was safe forever. The language was right there in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

            But all it took was a willingness of the White majority nationwide to refuse to accept the common-sense meaning of that language and allow blatant violations of that to go unpunished on the grounds that “intent” could not be proven.

            People are just as cruel and selfish now as they were then. Nothing is safe, even democracy and rule of law.

          4. BraveLilToaster says:

            Sure, it’s astonishingly easy to ignore a law that never gets enforced. And once the EPA isn’t getting enough funds for things as basic as toilet paper, you’ll suddenly notice that enforcement of EPA rules won’t exist either.

            I don’t like this plan, but it’s totally the Trump administration’s plan. He’s said as much, and his cabinet pick for the EPA proves it. You’ll be able to dump PCBs anywhere you like in about 4 months, nevermind silly things like carbon dioxide.

            It’s just one of the ways that America lost on November 9th.

  3. realistic says:

    “The EPA was required to meet soon to look at the next move which will cover 2022 through 2025. The agency met earlier than required to assure that numbers were in place, prior to the change in administration.”

    Well yeah but…

    The process for the review customarily requires a public comment period as well as a thorough assessment of the regulatory cost of compliance. The latter is quite extensive, and while the EPA can definitely do this on their own, the pace at which the agency made its decision, the paucity of public commentary, and the incredibly small production of data from this “decision” will make their action vulnerable to Executive Action.

    Some fairly significant precedents were set by Pres. Obama with Executive choices to defer, selectively enforce, or even decline enforcement of several CFRs. The Trump Administration may simply declare a suspension of enforcement and/or step up to an all-out reversal based on improper commentary and cost analysis procedures. The idea that the EPAs choice here is a “done deal” is misguided.

    (Note: not taking sides against the EPA decision, just stating it isn’t very robust.)

    1. MaartenV-nl says:

      The EPA dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s.
      All necessary steps that you mention are taken by the EPA.
      That is one reason it will be so hard for the automakers and the new administration to undo this regulation.

      1. realistic says:

        Maarten, I have never in my life in highly-regulated businesses seen a commentary period rush by at the pace this one went, espcially for something with such significant economic implications . Moreover the EPA themselves generally agreed (not officially but in a number of discussions and hearings) that the comment period would take place in 2018. Seriously, there is very little that compels the incoming Executive to maintain the course asserted by the current EPA leadership; foot-dragging alone can make it moot.

        Bush and Obama established new ground for the wide scope of Executive power to basically create Law by fiat and to ignore it at will. Nobody knows if the incoming administration will in fact choose to counter the direction that was set in the last couple of weeks. But if the Trump team choose not to, there is little that can be done to stop them.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          Fiat? This rule was finished in 2012, and only up for midterm review. The review date was to happen “by” 2018, not in 2018, giving EPA room to legally move it through. So, they did.

          If your beef it with the original rule, which this final determination sets in stone, then the time to hash that out was years ago.

          Gas prices going down, as well as battery prices and perhaps other benefits of scale, were the two events that reasonably could have changed to outcome. They somewhat counterbalance each other.

          People are so upset with innovation. Government shoves it down our throats and we actually get some place. That’s awful because it threatens guys like Scott Pruitt:

        2. DonC says:

          This is about as ignorant as could be. The EPA was ordered to regulate emissions by the Supreme Court, which found that the law required the regulation. Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 (2007). The Bush administration slow rolled the process and never did anything. The Obama administration promulgated the standards.

          Part of that regulation allowed for a so-called mid-term review. This review had to be based on whether the auto makers could in fact meet the new requirements. The review was completed earlier than anticipated, in July of 2016, and the final decision you’re discussing is simply a finding that the automakers can, as a factual matter, meet the requirements.

          Please read the case I’ve cited above and spare us the nut job lines about “creating Law by fiat”.

          1. Scott Franco says:

            So this is your favorite routine, running around calling everyone “ignorant”? What’s your IQ?

      2. realistic says:

        Well, as usual I was perhaps unclear: the EPA did indeed have until April 2018 to complete their determination.

        Also, my last statement isn’t clear either. What I meant to say was “if the Trump team choose not to follow the current EPA leadership decision…”.

        Apologies.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          According to my understanding, Realistic, everything you posted on this subject was correct, or at least is what the political pundits on the news analysis shows have been saying. The EPA cut short the normal period for allowing public reaction, and thereby will make it easy for the incoming Trumpster administration to justify undoing as many of these last-minute changes as they want… and they will likely want to undo most or all of them.

          Not fact, but apparently well-informed opinion.

          1. DonC says:

            More confused ignorance than fact or well informed opinion.

            The FACTS are these: After a lengthy review process that allowed for substantial public and private participation, the EPA, CARB, and NHTSA issued a joint Technical Assessment Report in July of 2016. A tentative determination to accept the findings of the TAR was issued on 30 November 2016. Public comment was accepted for a thirty day period after which, by law, the comment period closed. The final determination, along with 174 pages or responses to the public comments, was issued on 12 January 2017.

            Anyone who can count thirty calendar days will understand all statutory periods were honored. Those who can’t can share your “informed opinion”.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Gosh then, I guess that opinion is shared only by Realistic and myself.

              Oh, wait…

              Here’s a quote from InsideEVs’ Jay Cole:

              …fearing it would lose its grip on the 2025 benchmark, the EPA unexpectedly filed its review early stating automakers could technically hit the requirements of the program, leaving many in the industry unhappy with the development.

              source:
              http://insideevs.com/epa-rushes-affirmation-of-2025-fuel-economy-standards-automakersnada-not-happy/

              Forbes went farther, reporting:

              Some… rules… may intentionally be designed to constrain President-elect Trump’s policy options. An example… is EPA’s rush to lock in fuel economy standards for model years 2022 through 2025. In its 2012 fuel economy rule, EPA committed to issue a “mid-term evaluation” and determination by April 2018, yet after the election it hastily issued a proposed determination a full 16 months ahead of schedule. What’s more, EPA was in such a hurry to issue the standards that it bypassed interagency review (particularly disturbing given the Department of Transportation’s clear statutory role with respect to fuel economy standards) and gave the public only 30-days for comment. Generally, for rules of this impact (potentially adding billions in consumer costs), agencies allow at least 60 days for comment.

              source:
              http://www.forbes.com/sites/susandudley/2017/01/03/obamas-midnight-regulatory-volley-may-impede-trumps-plans/#46e3babd6061

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              And Bloomberg said:

              The EPA had previously indicated that the proposed decision that preceded today’s move, its preliminary ruling, to come in mid-2017.

              source:
              https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-13/epa-defies-automakers-by-keeping-efficiency-standards-intact

              Also, the Detroit Free Press said:

              But industry groups argue an EPA administrator could simply rescind Friday’s final determination and put the agency back on its original time frame of reviewing the regulations and making a decision by 2018.

              source:
              http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2017/01/13/us-epa-auto-regulations-emissions/96535096/

              * * * * *

              Now of course, DonC, none of this “proves” that Realistic and I are right in questioning that this last-minute EPA ruling will stand. Perhaps the Trumpsters won’t be able to overturn it. But these numerous quotes from respectable sources do show that Realistic and I have informed opinions on this subject… and you quite clearly do not.

              In the future, you’d be well advised to make sure you know what you’re talking about before you accuse someone else of ignorance on a subject.

  4. franky_b says:

    Since when the incoming administration care about facts, real facts, scientific facts?

  5. Mister G says:

    Trump is gonna blow up everything Obama did on renewables, clean air, clean water etc…ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

    1. philip d says:

      Yep. And we’ll be feeling the consequences of who the minority of voters picked (2.9 million less than the loser got) through an electoral college win for at least a decade to come.

  6. James says:

    Well, there’s the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Daytona 500, F1 Monaco and of course, Formula e, but….

    THIS race is the one I find most captivating. It’s on – like Donkey Kong! Who will win, the Auto Alliance, Big Oil and Big Gas – or Elon Musk and all of us who promote EV driving?

    California and the EPA have staved off the “Alliance” for over 2 presidential cycles and forced worldwide automakers to at least plan and build it’s business around mandates that have been set in place. This gave the fledgling baby EV industry time to get going. Now Tesla is building everything from Gigafactories, expansions of it’s Fremont facility to a vast, worldwide network of Superchargers! Legacy automakers have had to heed U.S. and international pressure to comply. Some have done it elegantly, if not slowly ( GM ) while others have been dragging along putting electric components into some of their existing ICE models. It’s all good – all progress, albeit slow as molasses in January.

    But here goes the next challenge. Can EVs stand up on their own merits? They’ll have to someday. They can’t survive upon government projects to build out charging infrastructure and hold automakers to the fire in improving MPG and C02 emissions. Just like mankind proves blatantly he cannot live and thrive upon government subsidy.

    We wait with bated breath for Tesla to get Model 3 goind. It’s so tight. Can they do it? Can they build 400,000 of them soon enough – and with quality? Or will they call upon 100,000s of customers to beta test a quirky EV that just isn’t ready for prime time? Will the ploys and game plans of the legacy Big Boys along with Big Energy win on a field goal in the 4th quarter?

    It all remains to be seen. Those who criticize Tesla in these forums and still claim to be EV advocates are sheer crazy. If it wasn’t for Tesla – the entire EV movement would collapse of it’s own weight. It’s a race – an exciting one. Exhasperating sometimes – to wait and wait until movement and momentum make mandates, regulations and government intervention be the life support upon which electrified cars and trucks survives.

    1. James says:

      Correction to last sentence of my post above:

      “Exhasperating sometimes – to wait and wait until movement and momentum make mandates, regulations and government intervention NOT be be life support upon which electrified cars and trucks survive.”

      – kind of changes the whole point…:) All I want for Christmas is an edit button!

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      James, I not only agree with most of your remarks, I applaud them! Well said.

      However, I think here you overstated the case:

      “If it wasn’t for Tesla – the entire EV movement would collapse of it’s own weight.”

      That might well be true of the USA in the Trumpster years, but let’s not ignore the rest of the world. If Tesla disappeared tomorrow, it wouldn’t slow down the EV revolution in China by one second, and I don’t think it would slow the rEVolution down in Europe or elsewhere in Asia either.

      It’s inevitable that gasmobiles will become obsolete, and will be replaced by EVs. The only question is how long that will take to happen. Without Tesla, that will almost certainly take longer to happen, probably by some years.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        When did Trump ever say he was against EVs?

        1. Mister G says:

          Never…but you must connect the dots, 1. Trump don’t believe in man made global warming 2. Trump wants to increase fossil fuel production and consumption 3. Secretary of State appointment is an oil man 4. Majority of Republicans don’t believe in man made global warming…connect the dots my friend.

        2. Nick says:

          This! We need such optimistism in these dark days.

    3. DonC says:

      This breathless narrative makes for a great story, but CARB and China are driving the adoption of electric cars. Tesla is along for the ride.

      1. super390 says:

        If manufacturers aren’t along for the ride nothing will happen. Tesla is in the front seat riding shotgun. The Big Three are sitting in the back with one foot out the door dragging on the pavement to slow it down.

    4. Nix says:

      “Can EVs stand up on their own merits?”

      The early incentives for EV’s have always been designed to sunset at the point where EV’s have reached the point of market saturation where they can compete on their own merits. Even the CARB ZEV mandate has a sunset.

      The fear is that the ruling party will not only sunset these programs prematurely, but to go even further and punish EV ownership. For example:

      1) Pass ALEC model legislation at the state level to create yearly registration fees that are significantly higher than the gas taxes they are supposed to replace for the same size car.

      2) Pass ALEC model legislation at the state level to make home solar more expensive, robbing EV owners from being able to power their EV’s for decades from the sun after installing solar.

      3) Keeping (and possibly expanding) oil industry subsidies to cut the cost of owning an ICE vehicle, while ending all subsidies to EV’s, Wind power, and Solar.

      4) Failing to charge ICE owners for the cost of their pollution, that taxpayers have been footing for years. While making EV owners foot the entire bill for their role in improving air quality in cities that everybody benefits from.

      5) Whether ICE car companies will sabotage the EV market sector, through zero advertising, actively steering consumers to ICE cars, and lobbying against holding the automotive industry accountable for the levels of pollution that the cars they build pollute.

      This isn’t about just having EV’s compete on their merits. It is about whether EV’s will be able to compete when the playing field is stacked heavily against them.

  7. wavelet says:

    I’m not sure if whether the EPA 2025 standards are left formally standing is the main issue at all.

    In several other areas, Trump’s team, as well as דןצןךשר-צןמגקג of Congresspeople, have been expressing the opinןon that “whatever the preseident does is OK by definition” and ignoring inconvenient laws.

    I’d be more concerned that the civil servants will either be directly ordered to not enforce the regs, or the relevant agencies defunded so they can’t enforce them (e.g., no funding for emissions test equipment).

  8. Steven says:

    I would like to hope that in the past few years, auto makers have invested just enough money in improving efficiency and alternative (renewable) fueled vehicles, that to turn back now would be a waste. So perhaps a particular company might release two lines instead of four. I’ll take that minor win, because I’d like to believe that the public once educated (The Hundredth Monkey Rule) will choose EV’s on their own.

    1. Mister G says:

      The public is shunning education on global warming and embracing diesel culture, gas guzzling culture etc… Reality tv shows like Diesel Brothers, Gas Monkey are very popular.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        I honestly don’t believe it’s “the public”. About 13 states really depend upon oil&gas production in this country (>1% of GSP), and they’re running the Tillerson, Perry, Pruitt show, with petrol dollars. “The public” gets global warming, in my view. It’s arson within the fire department they don’t see.

        1. Mister G says:

          If the public gets global warming how do you explain Americans spending $70k on modified diesel powered trucks for city use? How do you explain Americans spending $80k on a 2017 Corvette? How do you explain the atronomical amounts of money being spent on buying gas guzzling cars at the Jackson-Barret auction in the USA? The public is clueless and not connecting the dots.

          1. pjwood1 says:

            Since when does “the Public” mean everyone?

            I was trying to point out that, among the many issues American politicians are out of step with, the public’s recognition of CO2 being a problem is one. This is what PAC, super-PAC and Citizens United funding can do.

            I also think it’s hilarious that Linda Bean, of LL Bean, thinks its cool to blow past FEC laws on Trump support. She’s among the few family members on its board. When you think of what Pruitt does to the outdoors, if he actually gets confirmed, think of how LL Bean was right there, paying Linda to then go ruin the outdoors.

            Old money, at work.

          2. super390 says:

            What if America doesn’t HAVE a public anymore?

Leave a Reply