Feds to expand review of emissions standards for cars

Feds to expand review of emissions standards for cars
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The Trump administration is expanding its review of greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars.

In a Federal Register notice Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would consider whether to loosen the emissions standards for cars beginning in model year 2021 rather than model year 2022.

President Trump in March said he would roll back fuel economy goals, finalized during the Obama administration, for cars between 2022 and 2025.

Those goals require an industry-wide fuel economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a target the auto industry says is too lofty and expensive to reach, given Americans’ vehicle-buying habits.

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) said last month that it would reconsider its own fuel economy standards beginning in model year 2021. The EPA followed suit on Thursday because the regulations are generally administered together.

The EPA will take comments on its 2021-2025 emissions standards for 45 days.

“We are moving forward with an open and robust review of emissions standards, consistent with the timeframe provided in our regulations,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.

“We encourage the public to submit the best-available and most up-to-date information, so that we can get back on track with what the regulation actually requires of the Agency. Finally, we are working with DOT to ensure that our standards are ultimately aligned.”

Environmentalists have slammed the Trump administration’s decision to reopen the emissions standards, which former President Obama’s EPA finalized in January after a review of its own.

Automakers, though, pushed Trump to reconsider the rules. The EPA is required to determine what to do with the standards by next April, and any proposal to change the emissions regulations would be subject to a full rulemaking process.