WASHINGTON, D.C. — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that national greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025 are not appropriate and should be revised.
Pruitt also announced the start of a joint process with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to set new emissions standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards.
“The Obama Administration’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said, adding that Obama’s EPA cut the evaluation process short “with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”
Under the Clean Air Act, EPA sets national standards for vehicle tailpipe emissions of certain pollutants. Through a waiver granted by EPA, California can impose stricter standards for vehicle emissions of certain pollutants than federal requirements. The EPA is also targeting the California waiver.
An assistant vice president at American Honda Motor Co. said weakening the standards was not the “sensible” plan automakers had sought.
The National Resources Defense Council called the move “a U-turn in the fight against climate change” and vowed to fight. “Pruitt is taking us in the wrong direction and we will use all legal means available to stop him,” the group said.