EPA’s Pruitt Affirms Hard Line on California Emission Rules

March 13, 2018 at 1:07 PM

California has the power to determine its own fuel economy standards but is “not the arbiter” of national rules, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt declares to Bloomberg News.

Current rules set during the Obama administration require carmakers to achieve real-world fuel economy averages of about 36 mpg by 2025. The standards accelerate between 2022 and 2025.

California’s Air Resources Board also is developing even tougher standards by 2030, as it is allowed to do under the federal Clean Air Act. Several other states are following California’s regulations rather than those of the federal rules. Carmakers are urging adoption of a single set of standards nationwide.

CARB indicated earlier this year that it might be willing to ease its own standards in the short term if the Trump administration agreed to toughen later regulations. But Pruitt tells Bloomberg that EPA has no interest in further regulation beyond 2025, mainly because “being predictive about what’s going to be taking place out in 2030 is really hard.”

EPA faces an April 1 deadline to decide whether current federal fuel economy standards in place for 2022-2025 are feasible. EPA during the waning days of the Obama administration decided they are. But President Donald Trump ordered a new review shortly after taking office a year ago.