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article imageEPA plans to trash Obama-era tailpipe pollution standards

By Karen Graham     Mar 27, 2018 in Politics
The Trump administration has decided to loosen Obama-era limits on exhaust from cars made from 2022 to 2025. A draft declaration is under review at the Office of Management and Budget, and it must be made official by the end of the week.
The Trump administration has decided to loosen Obama-era limits on exhaust from cars made from 2022 to 2025.The standards called "Corporate Average Fuel Economy" (CAFE) standards have been around since 1975 as a method to reduce fuel consumption and our dependency on foreign oil sources after the Arab-Israeli War oil embargo imposed on the U.S. in 1973.
Since the introduction of the CAFE standards, along with advances in technology, consumers have seen a steady increase in fuel efficiency in new vehicles every year, as well as far less tailpipe pollution.
The revision of CAFE and Emission standards
The whole mess started in 2009 when Obama's EPA and automotive manufacturers reached an agreement to double the average real-world fuel economy of the cars they sold to around 36 mpg by 2025. This agreement was contingent on the rules being reviewed by the government midway through the period (2018), to see if targets were feasible.
In 2017, President Trump ordered the EPA to reevaluate the Obama-era rules - and even bragged about reversing the rules in his State of the Union address in January, saying: “In Detroit, I halted government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers -- so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.”
To go along with this story, the EPA released a report in January that showed 2016 model year cars and light trucks failed to achieve the EPA’s greenhouse gas standards for the first time despite a small gain in efficiency.
However, automakers have been aggressively lobbying the Trump administration and the EPA to roll-back the rules. The thing is, the EPA has completed a draft decision outlining the rationale for easing fuel efficiency regulations for model-year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, but they don't have any new rules to replace them.
So while there will be no new tailpipe-emission standards, it is a sure bet the rules will be weaker, making it easier for automakers to achieve their market expectations as they move toward the manufacture of more SUVs and light trucks.
The Sierra Club criticized the EPA and Scott Pruitt, saying in an emailed statement that “it’s a surprise to no one” that the agency had sided with automakers.
More about Epa, fuel efficiency regulations, Obamaera, Automakers, Greenhouse Gas
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