EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler
Readers who want to make their voices heard in objection to (or support of) the EPA proposal to freeze fuel economy standards have until tomorrow to get their comments in.
The EPA proposed in early August to undo Obama-era rules requiring cars to reach increasingly stringent fuel-economy targets through 2025. Called the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule, the proposal would freeze the standards at 2020 levels through 2026.
Although cars have already become more efficient, the upcoming years were expected to extend such efficiency gains to light trucks, such as pickups and large SUVs, which have captured an increasing number of American car sales in recent years.
Not only will the looser standards result in more emissions from gas (and diesel) cars and trucks produced from 2021 to 2026, the proposal seeks to strike down the California law that has resulted in the production of electric cars to be sold in the state and 12 others.
California and 16 other states have already sued the EPA and NHTSA over the proposal.
As with most federal regulations, the proposal requires a 60-day comment period before the executive branch can implement it. That 60 days expires on Tuesday (tomorrow.)
The EPA held three public hearings in September to gather public comments, but its website is still open to receive further comments until the deadline expires.
Public comments get heard, according to former EPA officials. Former head of the EPA's Office of Air Quality and Transportation, Margot Oge, told the New York Times in September that personal stories leave a lasting impression. The comments also become part of the legal record when a regulation is challenged in court—as this one already has been.
We know our readers love to weigh in on issues. This opportunity may be more effective than most.
UPDATE: The EPA has added an 'Extended End' to the period. It appears to allow the filing of comments, in the same manner, through October 26.