cafe standards

Congressional Dems to EPA's Wheeler: Stop Spreading Oil Industry Lies About Clean Car Rules

Read time: 5 mins
EPA head Andrew Wheeler

Two Democratic Congressional leaders are calling out U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler for knowingly deceiving the public and Congress on the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule.

Senator Tom Carper, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, sent a letter to Wheeler expressing concern that the EPA head “[has] made numerous public statements, including statements to Congress, that directly conflict with the information and analyses prepared by EPA’s career experts.”

Trump’s Clean Car Rollbacks Would Cost Drivers More Money, Finds Surprised Bush-era Official

Read time: 3 mins
Gas can with cash in it

As the Trump administration works to rewrite and weaken clean car standards, the targeted Obama-era rules received an unexpected boost from an unlikely source. A new study by President George W. Bush’s anti-regulatory czar found that the current fuel efficiency and emissions standards are good for the economy as a whole, mostly due to the significant savings that American drivers would see at the pump.

“The positive effects on the economy are ultimately much larger in magnitude than the negative impacts, primarily because the savings in expenditures on fuel are quite large relative to the vehicle price premium,” according to the study published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Senators Demand Trump Admin Reveal Marathon Petroleum, Koch Influence on Clean Car Standards Rollback

Read time: 4 mins
Marathon gas station

Two Senate Democrats this week ordered several Trump administration cabinet members and agency officials to reveal how the oil industry and Koch network have worked behind closed doors to influence the proposed rollback of auto efficiency and emissions standards.

Senator Tom Carper of Delaware and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer sent a letter to the current heads of the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others in the administration to demand information about a “covert lobbying campaign with oil industry groups to support Trump Administration efforts to weaken fuel economy standards and increase demand for oil consumption.”

The Trump Administration’s 'Dishonest' Attack on Fuel-economy Standards

Read time: 7 mins
Gas pump handle on the ground

By John R. Platt, The Revelator. Originally posted on The Revelator.

A former EPA engineer calls it “the most spectacular regulatory flip-flop in history.” Other experts say the resulting emissions increase would bode ill for the planet.

The Trump administration’s plan to freeze fuel-economy standards is “the most spectacular regulatory flip-flop in history,” says a retired EPA engineer who helped to develop the new standards under the Obama administration.

These standards weren’t going to be the ultimate solution for solving the climate problem, but they were a very, very important first step,” says Jeff Alson, who retired this past April after a 40-year career at the EPA. “That’s why this delay is so risky to us.”

How the Federal Government Came to Control Your Car's Fuel Economy

Read time: 5 mins
Cars wait in line for gas during the 1970s energy crisis
By Brian C. Black, Pennsylvania State University

The Environmental Protection Agency in August announced a plan to freeze fuel economy standards and revoke the ability of California to set more stringent rules than the national ones, prompting a legal showdown between the state and the federal government.

The proposal, which would keep fuel economy at planned 2020 levels, is the most significant step to halt the rise on the mileage standards of the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet in decades.

But how did fuel efficiency even become mandated? After all, manufacturers go to great lengths to analyze the consumer marketplace and build in the most tantalizing features to create top sellers, whether it’s great acceleration or a deep bass sound system. One feature is different, though: Carmakers are legally bound to innovate more efficiency into their vehicles.

These Auto Industry Companies Are Demanding Strong Clean Car Standards, Despite Trump

Read time: 4 mins
Average MPG on a dashboard

There’s a major sector of the automobile industry that is unwavering in its support of strong clean car standards: auto parts manufacturers.

Carmakers, through the powerful Auto Alliance trade group, have flip-flopped on fuel economy and emissions targets for cars and light duty trucks — claiming they aren’t for rollbacks even after lobbying for them. On the other hand, auto parts suppliers have consistently argued on behalf of strong national standards, going against the direction currently pursued by the Trump administration.

On Rollbacks, Automakers Tell Trump 'Not So Fast,' Kochs Say 'Burn More Gas'

Read time: 5 mins
Trump and Pence meet with automaker industry leaders

It’s a classic case of be careful what you wish for. Automakers asked the Trump administration to weaken emissions and efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, and are now anxious about just how much the Trump administration actually plans to weaken the standards.

On Friday, May 12, heads of car companies visited the White House, to make the awkward request that Trump not actually give them what they asked for.

Low Octane: The Surprising Reason Shale Oil Makes a Poor Fuel for High-Tech Cars and Trucks

Read time: 7 mins
Gas pump

Shale oil, which the Energy Information Administration projects will represent a rising proportion of American oil supplies in the coming decades, has a surprising Achilles heel: its low octane levels, which make it a poor fit for the high-efficiency car engines of the future.

Koch vs. California: These Groups Are Pushing Pruitt to Undo the State’s Right to Regulate Auto Emissions

Read time: 10 mins
Los Angeles traffic backed up

A coalition of conservative groups, many with close ties to the Koch brothers, are calling for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to strip California of its right to set stricter greenhouse gas limits for personal vehicles.

Not satisfied with Pruitt’s decision to rewrite the Obama-era emissions standards — which had been written cooperatively with the automakers, state of California, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and EPA — the American Consumer Institute (ACI) organized a letter to Pruitt calling “for the revocation of California’s waiver from the Clean Air Act, which allows the state to decouple from federal policy and impose strict emission standards on automobiles.”

When asked about this threat on the sidelines of the BNEF Future of Energy Summit, the chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, told Desmog, “I don't think they're going to do that.”

Pruitt, Auto Industry, and Climate Deniers Retreat Behind Closed Doors to Weaken Fuel Efficiency Targets

Read time: 7 mins
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announcing rollback of Obama fuel efficiency standards

On Tuesday, April 3, surrounded by representatives of the auto industry and conservative climate deniers, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt formally announced his decision to rewrite greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light duty trucks, undercutting one of the Obama administration’s most effective climate programs.

From the last-minute, controversial venue change to the hypocritical messaging of its attendees, the announcement reflected the new normal in Trump's Washington: the placement of industry influence and climate science denial front and center.

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