Trump Administration Aims To Roll Back Air Pollution Standards

SEP 4 2018 BY EVANNEX 22


Days after the November 2016 election, automakers began lobbying the new US administration to water down existing fuel economy and emissions standards. This requires a lengthy and complicated legal process, so it wasn’t until August that the White House released a proposal that would freeze rules requiring automakers to build cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars, and that would also challenge the right of states to set their own, more stringent pollution standards.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: By rolling back emission standards, the Trump administration may be delaying the advent of electric vehicles in the U.S. (Image: Charged)

The new proposal, jointly published by the EPA and the Transportation Department, would revoke the existing federal standard, which will require automakers to increase average fuel economy to about 54 mpg by 2025. The new rules would freeze fuel economy after 2021 at about 37 miles per gallon. They would also revoke a legal waiver, granted to California under the 1970 Clean Air Act and now followed by 13 other states, that allows those states to set more stringent tailpipe pollution standards than the federal ones.

Automakers have devoted much money and effort to weakening or delaying the fuel economy standards, and now they have a sympathetic ear in Washington. Indeed, their lobbying efforts may have succeeded a little too well. As the New York Times reports, the proposal seeks to revoke states’ rights to set their own pollution standards, which is likely to lead to a lengthy legal battle with California and the other states that follow its rules, leaving carmakers caught in a regulatory no man’s land.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra left no doubt about his determination to resist the rollback: “The Trump administration has launched a brazen and unlawful attack on our nation’s clean car standards. We will use every legal tool at our disposal to fight back.” California Governor Jerry Brown called the proposal “reckless” and a “betrayal,” and promised, “California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.”

The other clean-air states, including New York, Virginia and North Carolina, soon joined the chorus. “The administration’s proposal to weaken these rules will cause the American people to breathe dirtier air and pay higher prices at the pump,” said a joint statement from the Attorneys General of the 13 states (as reported by The Guardian). “We are prepared to go to court to put the brakes on this reckless and illegal plan.”

Above: Changes in policy and the impact in California (Youtube: KPIX CBS SF Bay Area)

Automakers still hope that the administration will make some sort of deal with California before issuing a final proposal. “With today’s release of the administration’s proposals, it’s time for substantive negotiations to begin,” said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “We urge California and the federal government to find a common-sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America’s drivers.”

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler also said he would like to avoid a legal showdown. “It’s my goal to come up with a 50-state solution that does not necessitate pre-empting California,” he told a Senate panel. However, the White House and the Transportation Department are said to be spoiling for a fight with California, according to the Times.

The administration will now invite public comment on the proposal before issuing a final version, probably later this year.  The list of dissenters includes automotive suppliers, auto dealerships, and of course environmental groups, who hope that public pressure will convince the government to make substantial changes to the plan.

The administration justified the rollback of standards by claiming that higher fuel economy would lead to higher costs and more highway fatalities, claims that the National Resource Defense Council, among others, refuted. “The administration is using a parade of horrors to justify an extreme rollback,” said the NRDC’s Daniel Becker. “This will lead to more polluting vehicles, cost consumers more, and it won’t save any lives.”

Above: Tailpipe emissions are a deadly source of greenhouse gas emissions and harmful pollutants (Image: Living on Earth via Pittou2, Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0)

“The proposal attempts to counter years of robust technical analysis that culminated in the joint analysis that EPA, NHTSA, and CARB produced in 2016 and the Obama administration’s 2017 determination that the existing standards are not only achievable at considerable savings to consumers, but could be strengthened,” reads a technical report from the NRDC. The NRDC says that the administration’s arguments rely on dubious data, as its report explains in detail.


Written by: Charles Morris; This article was originally published in Charged; Source: New York TimesNRDC

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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22 Comments on "Trump Administration Aims To Roll Back Air Pollution Standards"

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Vote in November

I intend to vote with my wallet. It tends to be more effective than government mandates.

This time do both…

My vote was no good where I was living, so I moved just to help flip a house seat from GOP to Dem.

Imagine you’re the CEO of a car company that sells a LOT of vehicles in the US. Would you look at this situation and say, “Great! They roll back these regs and we’ll spend BILLIONS making new, less fuel efficient vehicles because the Dems will never ever ever get back into power and restore those regs”? Or would you, at worst, keep selling pretty much what you’re selling now, and keep working on more fuel efficient and electric vehicles because you know that’s where your company’s future lies?

The thing is, I’ve seen these companies not make the obvious good choices before. These CEO’s live in echo chambers. GM dumped their EV1 even though people loved it and they bought Hummer. There’s no forward thinking.

What’s bizarre to me are the folks who are all about mom, apple pie, baseball, etc, yet carry water for a product that sends U.S. dollars to the Middle East. That point is always the elephant in the room. Regardless of the fashion in which electricity is produced (coal, wind, solar, hydro, etc), the fact remains that electricity is DOMESTICALLY produced. You don’t hear about supertankers loaded with electrons running aground in Alaska wiping out entire eco-systems. Or electron rigs off the Gulf Coast dumping electrons for weeks into the surrounding eco-system. Or propping up fanatic groups like ISIS through black market electron sales.

“Drill Baby, drill!” The race to the bottom is baffling..

“It’s my goal to come up with a 50-state solution that does not necessitate pre-empting California,”… Simple, just make CARB nationwide, and you’re done.

Wheeler is a pretty smooth operator, which means this is going to be very hostile and very delicate at the same time. BTW, is that photo of the red Audi doctored?

Not if it was an engine problem. Don’t bother changing air and diesel filter for example (and it must be before particle filters were used). Turbo problems too..
I drove behind a car that had problems with an after market chip ( to give it more power), and it looked like it was running on coal or liquified old tires..
Once or twice a year I see older diesel cars that is slightly converter to run on old engine oil. If they are not stopped by the police, they can drive for two years, before the vehicle have to be inspected. Usually they scrap the car before that date.

A modern working diesel engine does not smoke like that.

People obviously vote for all sorts of different reasons. Now the constituents, that are on the receiving end of those lost elections, unfortunately have to reap the whirlwind of their candidates failed election campaigns.

No matter the consequences to your environmental health and safety, this tail pipe emission Fossil Fuel Fallout, is going to add to our existing toxic mess, that is unfortunately already swirling with lethal carcinogens. Many voters are already having to pay a steep price, when it comes to increased medical care costs, for trying to counter the effects of this ongoing human folly.

I wish we would get these stories for someone besides Evannex. Just the fact that the story comes from Evannex makes the story lose credibility. I always feel like Evannex is more interested in promoting their agenda than in telling the truth.

Trump is such as a Onceler

He seems to be doing everything in his power to turn the sky from blue to grey and to turn the world into a burned out carcass.

I found his ideas of giving the super rich a 30% and big businesses get big tax cuts so they could have stock buy backs to be insane. But the reality is who or what takes over in a few years due to automation and outsourcing will have to end up jacking up the taxes though the roof on the ultra rich to keep the economic ship from flipping over.

But Trump’s war on mother nature I have never seen a political figure do such much to go all out in supporting fossil fuels.


The article may have missed the point that the proposal only rolls regulations back to before the Obama’s insane changes were put in place. That’s all. California is a country in their own mind. EVs are a goal, not a real product. Without enormous subsidies only those in the 1% would even consider them.

I’m most certainly not in the 1%, my EV goes just fine and has saved not only sine environmental impacts, but definitely a lot of money.
You know money talks and BS walks? Well, money in my wallet speaks to me more loudly than all this BS about rolling back emissions. It just surprises me that cash strapped people aren’t clamouring for EV’s because they just make such good economic sense at an individual’s level.

Just as the backward looking and recalcitrant states fought the EPA when it was run to lower pollution now when it attempts to raise it the states can fight back the same way, using the various precedents and procedures established by those challenges, which basically ground the progress to address pollution concerns to a halt, to stop the efforts to allow pollution and polluters to continue unabated.

The plan of Pruitt, as OK attorney general and others, was to simply throw paper at the EPA when people who actually wanted to stop or lower pollution were in charge. Now that the shoe is on the other foot the states opposing the rules change will use the same tactics to arrest the process, and nothing will get done.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

This sounds like a good opportunity to come up with ideas for CARB states to help EV adoption…….

1: Raise rates (or something like hazmat/flamable insurance) for fuel storage/refining location.
2: Raise penalties on any and every leaks and/or fires that occur at storage/refining location.
3: Mandate stricter safety and environmental standards at storage/refining location.
4: Change smog test rules to be required every year.
4.1 For larger cylinder count/bore vehicles increase cost of smog test exponentially.
5: Raise smog cert (not test) cost to $75.
5.1 For larger cylinder count/bore vehicles increase cost of cert exponentially.
6: Raise gas taxes to fund implementation of the above items.

Regardless of government mandates, EVs are following a Model T and Smart Phone growth trend. This trend is not set by government. It’s fueled by automakers producing compelling electric vehicles that can go 200+ miles per charge, and buyers that REALLY want to buy these cars (and hundreds of thousands of people waiting in lines for YEARS to get them).

By 2025 there probably won’t be many non-plugin cars on dealer lots. F-150, for example- the best selling vehicle in the US (and a truck, mind you) is expected to get a plug in a year or two. This isn’t a Prius. It’s not a Volt. It’s a pickup truck. If something that mainstream can get a plug, it’s all over for oil.

Vote with your wallet. It tends to make a bigger impact than wasteful and inefficient government. Even with the EPA mandate scaled back to 37 MPG by 2025, I expect the average will actually exceed 54 MPG.

Unbelievable. Just like here in the diesel-EU (germany), you guys have some big idiots as well.

You can send your idiots for training, we have the best schools here.