Pruitt: National fuel standard should be 'unified'

Pruitt: National fuel standard should be 'unified'
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittPruitt made one phone call to White House using K soundproof booth Walmart becomes latest retailer to ban chemicals found in paint strippers Juan Williams: Trump weaves web of corruption MORE says he supports a unified national vehicle fuel standard, stoking state fears that the agency may do away with waivers allowing states to implement stronger standards.

Speaking before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Tuesday, Pruitt said maintaining one national program is "essential."

Some states, including California and Massachusetts, currently set higher fuel emission standards than the federal standard, as allowed under a waiver program determined by former President Obama. 

Pruitt said those states should not be able to dictate federal rules. 

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"Federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate to the rest of the country," he said.

The EPA is currently considering whether it plans to implement changes to the current federal fuel standards. It has said it will determine whether changes will be made by April.

Last week EPA air and radiation head Bill Wehrum said at the Washington Auto Show in Washington, D.C., that the agency is leaning toward creating a national standard. 

"We’ve heard loud and clear that having one national program is really important," Wehrum said, describing how the EPA was approaching potentially revising the national fuel emissions standards.

"From a good, solid national and public policy standpoint, the very best outcome for all of us to achieve is one national program," he said.