The Trump administration took the initial step toward rolling back Obama-era vehicle emission standards Thursday. The EPA opened the public comment period for the rewriting of emission standards for cars and light trucks produced from 2021-2025.
“We are moving forward with an open and robust review of emissions standards, consistent with the timeframe provided in our regulations,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in the statement released Thursday.
Members of the auto industry celebrated the decision to reopen the emission standards rules, which were made permanent under former President Barack Obama. Industry stakeholders have argued the rules place an undue burden on auto manufacturers struggling to meet emission standards amid low gas prices and lagging biofuel production.
“The Administration is fulfilling its commitment to reinstate the midterm evaluation of future vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards,” Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of auto manufacturers trade group Auto Alliance said in a statement.
The decision to reexamine emission standards runs contrary to the wishes of consumers, according to Shannon Baker-Branstetter of Consumers Union, the public policy division of Consumer Reports.
“In fact, consumers are especially concerned about the fuel efficiency of the crossovers and SUVs they’ve been gravitating toward in recent years,” Baker-Branstetter told NPR.
The public comment period, which lasts 45 days, gives auto manufacturers and other stakeholders a chance to lobby for their preferred changes.
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