EPA Revokes California’s Emissions Waiver, Launches “One National Program Rule”

As promised, the Trump administration has revoked California’s emission waver and moved to prevent other states from setting their own fuel economy standards.

The move comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency issued a “final action” known as the “One National Program Rule.” The EPA says it will enable the federal government to “provide nationwide uniform fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles and light duty trucks.”

In effect, the government is arguing federal law preempts state and local greenhouse gas emissions standards as well as zero emission vehicle mandates. The government says this authority was provided to them by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

Also Read: EPA Withdraws 50 MPG Target By 2025, Threatens California

As part of their effort to reaffirm this “statutory authority,” the EPA is withdrawing the Clean Air Act waiver that was granted to California in 2013. However, this action only applies to their greenhouse gas and zero emission vehicle programs. It won’t have any impact on their low emission vehicle program and other efforts to battle pollution.

If revoking the wavier wasn’t enough of a slap in the face to California, the EPA said the “state must redouble its efforts to address the worst air quality in the United States and finally achieve compliance with EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards, where for decades it has failed to address serious, severe, and extreme non-compliance status in several areas within the state.”

The government contends the move is part of their effort to finalize the so-called “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks.”  This would enable vehicles to be less efficient than proposals by the Obama administration as automakers would only need to hit an average of 37 mpg (44 mpg UK / 6.3L / 100km).

The government contends this is in the best interest of everyone as President Trump tweeted the new standard will “…. produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER. This will lead to more production because of this pricing and safety advantage, and also due to the fact that older, highly polluting cars, will be replaced by new, extremely environmentally friendly cars.” He went on to claim “There will be very little difference in emissions between the California Standard and the new U.S. Standard, but the cars will be far safer and much less expensive.”

Needless to say it’s a bit of convoluted logic, but Trump is arguing that less stringent emission standards will enable cars to be produced more affordably and these savings will be passed onto consumers. These lower prices will then attract people to buy new cars which are inherently safer than the ones they replace.

As the EPA explained, “The SAFE rule’s standards are projected to save the nation billions of dollars and strengthen the U.S. domestic manufacturing base by adding millions of new car sales. Most importantly, because newer cars are safer than ever before, the new standards are projected to save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of Americans from being hospitalized by car crashes.”

The move likely set means yet another legal battle between the government and California as Governor Gavin Newsom has previously said “We will fight this latest attempt and defend our clean car standards.”

 

  • This is utter bullshit. Trump is out to destroy our environment one stupid law at a time. WHAT POSSIBLE BENEFIT WOULD THIS MOVE GET???

    • Smith

      It’s another of Trump’s attempts to destroy everything that has Obama’s name attached, his hatred is that deep, like a little school boy. So childish, he is a joke!

      • WHAT OBAMA DID IS IN THE HISTORY BOOKS, DONNIE CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY.

        • RysterARCEE

          No, but he can attempt to fix everything that the previous administration bungled.

          • AND THE NEXT PRESIDENT WILL FIX EVERYTHING THE SLOB DID TO “FIX” EVERYTHING. IT’S A VICIOUS CIRCLE.

    • MrCarGuy20 .

      Can you even read? It’s not destroying anything!

    • IT WILL BOOST HIS FRAGILE EGO.

    • runbuh

      It’s a double-win for Trump – destroying the Obama legacy and flipping off the libs in California at the same time.

      • Matt

        Two extremely poor and childish reasons for implementing new legislation…

      • HD

        Children should not be allowed to vote.

    • MayTheBestCarWin05

      The cruelty is the point. After 8 years of Obama….”owning the libs” is their sole priority.

  • matrem

    Except it can’t, as it’s enshrined in law.

  • Merc1

    Is anyone surprised. The orange buffoon strikes again.

    M

  • Nordschleife

    The money that is going to be wasted taking this to court. California is not going to just concede this will be a lot of money and time wasted.

  • MrCarGuy20 .

    This is a great move for me as an auto enthusiast yet, at the same time, doesn’t bother those into EVs. Nothing wrong with it.

    All these people suddenly defending states’ rights: Hilarious.

    • AS AN AUTO ENTHUSIAST YOU DON’T LIKE GETTING MORE POWER FOR LESS GAS? IN THE 70’S AFTER THE OIL EMBARGO A CORVETTE GOT 195 HP NOW THE BASE MODEL WILL BE 500 HP. WHY? BECAUSE REGULATIONS SPURRED THE MANUFACTURERS ON TO IMPROVE THEIR PRODUCT.

      • Mr. EP9

        I sincerely doubt that. Regulations were for fuel efficiency; horsepower and performance was because of technological advancements.

        • runbuh

          What do you think prompted those technological advancements? Trying to get more power and more fuel efficiency, perhaps?

          • Wrescr

            Horsepower and performance prompted those technogical advancements, a la racing.

          • Mr. EP9

            Perhaps but saying it was solely because of regulations is nonsense. Racing in Motorsports probably has more to do with performance than fuel efficiency regulations.

      • MrCarGuy20 .

        Your logic is ridiculous. Absolute troll. How are you even on an automotive site legitimately? You think fuel efficiency regulations are what raised power? Moronic. The demand for cars with better fuel efficiency would be there regardless (because of the natural abilities of people to be averse to spending).

        I personally prefer engines without forced induction. Period. And I’d like to have the choice to do so. If the new Corvette had worse fuel economy they would be getting 600+ from the same design. You don’t even understand why a Corvette in the oil crisis was so weak. Go back to your EV cult.

        • SWEETIE, FIRST OFF I DO UNDERSTAND WHY THE VETTE (AND ALL CARS OF THE ERA) WAS UNDER-POWERED. THE OIL EMBARGO FORCED MANUFACTURERS TO NEUTER CARS SO THEY WOULDN’T USE AS MUCH GAS. THEY ALSO DOWNSIZED EVERY CAR ON THE MARKET. SO IN THE ’70’S AND ’80’S WE HAD A CRAPPY SELECTION OF UNDER-POWERED, UNATTRACTIVE CARS. WITH SOME INGENUITY ON THE PART OF THE MANUFACTURERS WE NOW HAVE CARS MUCH MORE POWERFUL AND FUEL EFFICIENT THAN WE DID BEFORE THE EMBARGO.

          SECOND, I DON’T HAVE AN EV, I DRIVE A GAS CAR WITH A STICK.

          A TROLL IS SOMEONE WHO USES WORDS LIKE “MORONIC” AND “CULT”. NOW IF YOU WANT TO HAVE AN ADULT CONVERSATION WITH ME, COMPORT YOURSELF LIKE A GENTLEMAN.

    • slither16

      States rights is the right to impose their single-party tyranny. Californians that wanted to vote against the Democrats, had real no choice but in the federal government.

  • WHAT THE TWITTER QUEEN DOESN’T SEEM TO REALIZE IS, NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES IN AN ATTEMPT TO ERASE HIS PREDECESSORS ACCOMPLISHMENTS IS THAT HE CAN’T, IT’S A PART OF HISTORY.

    • RysterARCEE

      Just like the SJWs erasing all of what they consider to be “bad” American history?

      • WELL AT LEAST YOU DIDN’T PULL THE USUAL “WHAT ABOUT HILLARY?” OR “BUT OBAMA…”.

  • thejohnnycanuck

    I can already feel California’s panties bunching up even as I type this…

    • you mean they weren’t already bunched?

  • Mr. EP9

    This will cause an upheaval that will be felt far and wide in California. Alternatively, it could just be an earthquake. We’ll see.

  • Joe

    That’s a flawed logic there. A car with worse economy will be negligibly cheaper to buy than a car with better economy for the consumer, as the saving (if any, which is unlikely) will unlikely be passed on, and on top of that by being less fuel-efficient it will cost a lot more to run. Without a significant improvement in fuel economy, what is the reason for the owner of an older car to get the newer car if it’s no more efficient, and costs the same to run, in addition to the cost of buying a new car?

    If manufacturers are stupid enough to stop aiming for the harsher regulations agreed with CA before, they’re shooting themselves in the foot. It’ll make cars designed primarily for the US, and therefore US-branded models, even less competitive globally than they already are, which will only harm the NA economy and jobs situation further. What’s the point in relaxing US regulations when other parts of the world are introducing increasingly stricter standards? Anyway, within a couple of years you could have a different president who may overturn this and stricter standards will come back again. It’s a regulatory folly. It’ll cost companies more to develop towards multiple sets of regulations for the same similar markets, so I’d imagine regardless of this mess it’d be smart business to keep aiming for the more difficult standards. Not to mention, attacking California for having unclean air then effectively banning them from doing anything about it beyond the increasingly lax federal regulations. Utter farce.

    Also, how on earth is a less fuel-efficient car safer than a more fuel-efficient one? How?!

  • cooper

    Seriously, when can the United States get rid of that monster in the White House. Trump is not working for the good of the people.

    • NOVEMBER 2020.

    • Craig

      Trump is indeed a jackass. But obviously you are oblivious to what’s going on on the LEFT.

    • 2024.

    • Emoto

      The monster in the white house left in 2016, and we narrowly avoided letting another monster set up camp there.

      • cooper

        You obviously do not pay attention to the details.

  • Julien Lachemoi

    When I read people defending that kind of stunt from Trump, I’m reminded that there are literally Russians trolls playing every sides on internet and I begin to wonder how many Russians trolls I’ve debated against without realising it.

    Because I simply don’t want to accept that reasonable people would agree that:
    – letting manufacturers make cars that pollute more = less pollution

    By that reasoning, if we let big corporations decide what to pay in taxes they will pay more !
    Yeah, right.

    • Craig

      What a ridiculous comment. Russian trolls? I think I’m replying to one now. Are you going to deny it? Oh but isn’t that exactly what a Russian troll would do?

      • Porkopolis

        Learn to recognize bots. Canned Idiocy = Bot

    • MrCarGuy20 .

      You know, since I don’t agree with your shallow comment, you’re a Russian troll. Russian trolls don’t deserve acknowledgement. Anything you say is automatically wrong.

  • Astonman

    So supposedly this will lower prices for consumers….right. Now they have to buy more gas and at what will be at a higher price. Savings if any is easily offset. In the report that this administration did that I read, it means consumers will be buying more than a billion gallons more. Who’s the benefit? The oil industry. Nice. In 3 years this administration has done outrageous acts on the environment. Earlier this week, the Clean Water Act was repealed.

  • Exotics

    Only because it will benefit Trump and his investments. Absolutely terrible. Luckily Tesla leads the rEVolution with Porsche and Mercedes now following

  • Callanish

    Under this administration, there is no such thing as an environmental protection agency.

    • paulgdeaton

      … and soon, if this doesn’t change, there will be no such thing as the environment.

  • Jesse Sahely

    puppet

  • MayTheBestCarWin05

    Nope. He’ll blame someone else….the automakers, California, women, the taliban, China 🤷🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️

  • DGC

    So then… Let’s do this for Women’s Health issues, Marijuana Issues and Health Care issuers!

    This is NOT a standard GOP practice (article) ! The GOP are a State’s Rights Advocate!

    • Porkopolis

      Well, the last time the Democrats wanted to keep slaves and govern themselves to the extent that it would have a significantly negative impact on the Republic… That was messy. Trump playing the Trump card on CA won’t hurt anyone.

      • badcyclist

        How’s the weather in Moscow today?

        • paulgdeaton

          St. Petersburg… I am betting on St. Petersburg…

  • Rimas Kurtinaitis

    I agree with your first paragraph. Cali being the only US state having an actually reasonable emissions program is quite absurd.

    But wait, they dumped it. Again.

    America never ceases to amaze me.

    • ChrisInIL

      Maybe someday you’ll understand America. Today is obviously not that day.

      • Rimas Kurtinaitis

        Maybe someday America will rise to the EU’s level in a state (union)’s basic function, protecting its citizens.
        There will obviously be no such day, I’m afraid.

        • ChrisInIL

          Your arrogance does not prove your point.

          • Rimas Kurtinaitis

            The US’ current predicament does that for me, no need to waste words on proving such an obvious statement.

            (it absolutely does prove my point, but it flew over your head. better luck next time.)

          • ChrisInIL

            Your admission that your own arrogance was your point is appreciated.

          • Rimas Kurtinaitis

            My arrogance illustrates my point and is obviously not the point itself, but you’re clearly not up to so basic a level of understanding of the written word. US education doing wonders there, I see.

          • ChrisInIL

            Your arrogance is obvious to everyone but you.

          • Rimas Kurtinaitis

            Is it now

          • ChrisInIL

            I stand corrected. It is obvious to everyone.

  • modern vehicles are already pretty dang efficient and clean compared to cars even 20 years ago. let alone cars from the 60s and 70’s when the EPA was founded.

    at this point anything else is excessive and only hurts the consumers both in California where the cost of living is insane, but also everywhere else where income is low because the cost of living isn’t insane.

    if California really wants to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions at this point they really should invest in the public transportation systems. busses, light rail, things like that. by doing this you remove cars from the roads, free up traffic and allow things to run more effeciently thus wasting much less fuel, time and oh who am i kidding this is common sense, california doens’t do common sense…

    • Joe

      Isn’t California trying hard to implement public transit systems (which is extremely expensive to do after pretty much everything is already built), such as high-speed rail, and improve infrastructure, but are being stymied at every turn by the Trump administration? I remember reading extensively about this.

      • dude, lets face it California is never going to build their bullet train… this has been a talking point for as long as i can remember, they’re just using trump as an excuse.

  • MrCarGuy20 .

    “It will definitely bother ‘those into EVs’ because manufacturers will be less inclined to develop EVs for or sell EVs in the US market…” Yes, because without the government involved demand for EVs couldn’t possibly increase. LOGIC. You are an absolutely ignorant moron spewing this.

    • Joe

      I’m not ignorant at all. I’d have thought everything else written by me would have proven this.
      The fact remains that without government incentives to buy EVs, they remain too costly to buy for most consumers who want them, at least for now until development brings down the price. That will need time to sort itself out, of course, but there still needs to be government support.
      Look at Norway. They gave heavy incentives to consumers who bought EVs (effectively making them cheaper to buy than a petrol equivalent) and companies that offered them, and built (especially in Oslo) essentially free and widespread charging infrastructure, and made various other incentives in taxation, etc. Now they dominate the streets and are the biggest sellers by far. Government intervention, in this case, is necessary to deal with market complacency and also works. Even in China, as they decrease incentives for PHEVs, they become more expensive to buy again and sales are falling. The BEVs with smaller batteries that had their incentive scheme cut to prioritise those that go further are now dead in the water essentially. For now, intervention and incentives are necessary to convince consumers to take the plunge. It’s a fairly standard unwillingness to buy into new things. How long did it take hybrids, or even the car itself, to gain popularity?

      In markets without these incentives and interventions, there’s less consumer drive to buy them, so manufacturers don’t prioritise offering or marketing them and there’s less uptake. Looking at US context, why do you think so many EVs are only offered in certain states, and also arrive in the US significantly later than other markets? Because those are the states that offer tax breaks and incentives, and have some form of infrastructure. As you said, “LOGIC.”

  • QUITE FRANKLY I WISH THIS SITE DIDN’T POST ARTICLES ABOUT THE CON. I COME HERE TO GET AWAY FROM THE NEWS.

  • Astonman

    For not being a monopoly – that sure dictate pricing strongly don’t they? He repealed the Clean Water Rule – instead of the act – understood. Still not a good thing.

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