Canadian Plastics

EPA doubles down on 2025 emissions standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to leave in place its greenhouse gas emissions standards for light vehicles through the 2025 model year. Many in the auto industry aren’t happy with the decision.

December 5, 2016   Canadian Plastics

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to leave in place its greenhouse gas emissions standards for light vehicles through the 2025 model year.

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The proposal kicks off a 30-day comment period, after which the EPA administrator could finalize the determination that the standards are achievable and don’t need to be updated.

Under that timeline, the standards for the 2022-2025 model years could take full force before January 20, when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office. The Trump administration could order the EPA to issue a new rule undoing the current one, but the process for doing so would be a lengthy one.

In the meantime, the EPA’s proposal has already drawn criticism from some auto industry officials. “Washington has decided to make new cars and trucks more expensive for America’s working men and women,” National Automotive Dealer’s Association (NADA) president Peter Welch said in a statement. “The outgoing administration has chosen to halt progress on fuel economy by enacting a policy that will delay the introduction of safer and cleaner vehicles by making them more expensive. Consumers deserve access to affordable new cars and trucks, but Washington’s midnight regulation will increase costs and force many working families into older, less safe and less efficient used cars NADA looks forward to working with the Trump Administration to ensure that working families can choose the cleaner new cars and trucks they need at prices they can afford.”

A formal midterm evaluation of the greenhouse gas emissions standards has been under way since July to determine whether the final four years of the program are appropriate, or whether they need to be modified. The EPA said its analysis of fuel economy improvements and feedback from automakers has shown no reason why the 2022-2025 model year greenhouse gas standards should be changed.

In a statement, the EPA said “extensive technical analysis” shows automakers are on track to achieve the 2025 model year standards at “similar or even a lower cost” than envisioned when initially issued in 2012. “[The new] standards are achievable with very low penetration of strong hybrids, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” the EPA said in its statement. “This finding is consistent with the conclusions the National Academy of Sciences found in a comprehensive 2015 study.”

The EPA is obligated by law to decide the issue by April 2018.


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