April 2 (UPI) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Monday to relax fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt determined current standards are “not appropriate and should be revised” after conducting the midterm evaluation process for the greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks for model years 2022 through 2025.
“The Obama administration’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said. “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”
In March, President Donald Trump promised a review of rules submitted by the Obama administration mandating an increase in fuel economy for all domestic vehicles to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
Pruitt didn’t offer specific guidelines for revising the previous standards following the review.
The EPA is also re-examining a waiver granted to California, which allows the state to impose stricter standards for vehicle emissions of certain pollutants than federal requirements established under the Clean Air Act.
Pruitt said a national standard “is in America’s best interest” and the EPA will work with California and other states in an effort to achieve such a standard.
“Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country. EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions that allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford — while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars,” he said.