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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 PruittOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Overnight Defense: First Gitmo transfer under Trump could happen 'soon' | White House says Trump has confidence in VA chief | Russia concedes 'dozens' of civilians injured in Syria clash 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.