BMW M3 M Performance exhaustEnlarge Photo
Lobbyists for the world's automakers continue to ask the new presidential administration to revisit an EPA decision to finalize emissions standards through 2025.
Just days after the November election, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers wrote President-Elect Trump to ask that he reverse the decision on emissions standards made by the environmental agency during the final days of his predecessor's tenure.
Last week, executives of 18 automakers have sent a second letter asking the same thing—one that used a discredited projection of job losses to make their case.
Now a third letter on the subject has been sent, this time to newly-confirmed EPA boss Scott Pruitt.
The Alliance requested that Pruitt withdraw the EPA decision finalizing the emissions rules, and restart a midterm evaluation process for those rules, according to The Detroit News.
The EPA had been given until April 2018 to determine the feasibility of automakers meeting emissions rules for 2022 to 2025 before it finalized those rules. The agency completed that process in January, before the Trump administration took office.
The White House, Washington, D.C. [Creative Commons license by dcjohn]Enlarge Photo
In the letter, the lobbying group said the EPA had "unnecessarily politicized" the midterm review by completing it before the deadline.
Alliance president Mitch Bainwol said the agency had gone back on a promise to make the review process "collaborative," and to give automakers enough time to "offer agencies real data to adjust their model-driven forecasts."
The comments and supporting documents submitted to the EPA, however—addressed in the Technical Assessment Report it issued last July with other regulators—run to thousands of pages and include comments from those automakers.
In a statement, Sierra Club associate director for federal advocacy Andrew Linhardt accused automakers of "attempting to backpedal on climate and consumer protections."
"This is a shift in the wrong direction from 2009," Linhardt said, "when automakers stood with President Obama and agreed that the fuel efficiency standards were realistic and achievable."
While automakers complain about emissions standards, the July Technical Assessment estimated that those standards could be met.
Gas pumpEnlarge Photo
Among other conclusions, the report found that automakers had met 2012-2017 emissions rules at a lower-than-expected cost.
It found that meeting the 2022-2025 standards could largely be done with conventional technologies, rather than the more-expensive deployment of large numbers of electrified vehicles.
Only continued high sales of SUVs and low gas prices might force automakers to miss the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy goal of 54.5 mpg, the report found, and even then by only a small amount.
In recent statements, both EPA head Pruitt and new Department of Transportation boss Elaine Chao said they would review the decision to finalize emissions rules.
Chao's DOT encompasses the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees the CAFE rules.
Since 2012, the NHTSA and EPA have coordinated their fuel-economy and emissions rules, respectively.