The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing hard to finalize tougher vehicle emission and fuel economy standards for 2020-2025 before the President-elect Donald Trump takes office, even though the new administration could rescind the new rules if it chose to.
The EPA plans to finalize the rule following a 30-day comment period that will end before Trump is inaugurated.
“It’s clear from the extensive technical record that this program will remain affordable and effective,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This proposed decision reconfirms our confidence in the auto industry’s capacity to drive innovation and strengthen the American economy while saving drivers money at the pump and safeguarding our health, climate, and environment.”
The auto industry accused the EPA of “eleventh-hour politics” and an “extraordinary and premature rush to judgment.” The Obama administration countered that automakers already have the technology to meet the standard.
“Trump’s transition team didn’t immediately respond to e-mail requests for comment on the EPA proposal,” Bloomberg reports. But “the EPA’s earlier technical assessment laid the foundation for keeping or tightening the standards and could make it tougher for the Trump administration to justify moving lower.”
“The Trump administration may now have to explain to environmentalists why—in light of today’s proposed determination—the ‘feasible’ original standards should be loosened,” according to a research note to clients from ClearView Energy Partners.