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article imageHonda joins GM in opposition to EPA freeze on emission standards

By Karen Graham     Oct 30, 2018 in Politics
Washington - On Friday, Honda joined with General Motors in its opposition to the EPA's proposed freeze on emission standards, upping the stakes and asking federal officials to negotiate with California and other states in working out a comprehensive national plan.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency were accepting comments on a proposed Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles regulation. The two agencies wanted to amend the fuel economy and GHG emissions standards for cars and light trucks, covering model years 2021 to 2026.
The public comment period ended on Friday with over 12,000 comments already submitted. Honda filed its comment to the Trump administration's plan, saying a negotiated plan that doesn't freeze fuel-economy standards at 2020 levels would be "a better path," according to Green Car Reports.
“The industry is united in its request that the agencies work out an agreement with California,” Honda wrote.
The thing is, the automotive industry is reaping what it has sown, so to speak. On April 13, the EPA formally published in the Federal Register its decision to overturn the Obama administration's vehicle fuel efficiency standards. Pruitt said when signing the decision that "the EPA regulations were "locked in" just days before Donald Trump took office and the "fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for the 2022-25 model years were not appropriate."
The statement offered no evidence to support the EPA's arguments. But it did rely heavily on talking-points made by automotive industry lobbyists and their old data, and not expert technical advice. At the time, Digital Journal pointed out the EPA rules would create a boatload of uncertainty into what is a $2.0 trillion global business. And changing our emission standards will affect American car-makers in their pocketbooks.
The EU wants much stricter emissions standards
The EU wants much stricter emissions standards
The states have a big voice on the EPA freeze
And while Honda is joining with GM in wanting the federal government to work out a compromise with California, the EPA will also have to take on 16 other states, including Washington, D.C., and Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Minnesota.
All these states and Washington DC have joined in a lawsuit to stop the EPA from enacting the fuel emissions freeze. While federal officials have signaled their interest in negotiating, nothing has come out of it as of today.
Eight governors from states including Texas, Nebraska, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Maine signed a letter expressing support for the proposed freeze - suggesting the market would support more fuel-efficient vehicles without added regulations.
"Government undermines both goals when it enacts policies that pit environmental preservation against free enterprise, hindering free markets, propping-up inferior solutions, and ultimately reducing prosperity," the governors wrote.
With the comment period ended, it's unclear how long it will take for the EPA to come up with its final rule. Will it be amended, changed, a compromise, or just end up being scrapped?
More about Honda, General motors, eight states, epa emission freeze, Opposition
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