EPA to Unveil Revised Plan to Freeze CO2 Limits

April 12, 2019 at 1:30 AM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the plan it issues this summer to freeze carbon dioxide emission limits is being modified in hopes of placating protesters.

Sources tell Reuters the “freeze” may instead dictate modest decreases in CO2 emissions—and resulting increases in average fuel economy targets between 2020 and 2026.

Standards adopted during the Obama administration call for a sharp acceleration in emission limits during that period that would drive up required new-car fuel economy averages 5% per year to about 36 mpg in 2026.

EPA under the Obama administration calculated the tougher rules would cost carmakers $157 billion and raise the price of a new car by an average $1,200. But the agency also said the move eventually would save car owners $491 billion through fuel savings.

The EPA under the Trump administration estimates that canceling the tougher standards would hike oil consumption by 500,000 barrels per day but save carmakers $300 billion in regulatory costs and lower the price of a new car by nearly $1,900.

California, which has vowed to impose the Obama-era limits in spite of the EPA’s new ruling, has sued the agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reveal how they arrived at such a sharply different conclusion.