Dems push Trump to keep Obama-era car emissions standards

Dems push Trump to keep Obama-era car emissions standards

Senate Democrats are pushing the Trump administration to preserve the strict car emissions standards set under former President Obama.

The 12 Democrats, led by Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenate Dem: Trump has to stop ‘reckless’ language on North Korea Trump sparks debate over war resolution for North Korea Foreign Relations Dem: North Korea is the modern-day Cuban missile crisis MORE (Mass.), sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt on Tuesday, days after the New York Times and other outlets reported that Pruitt will act as soon as this week to start weakening the greenhouse gas emissions standards.

“These automobile emissions standards are economically feasible and technologically achievable for the auto industry,” the senators wrote, citing the EPA’s decision at the end of the Obama administration to maintain the rules for the 2022 to 2025 model years, despite auto industry pleas.

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“They will enhance our national security by reducing our consumption of foreign oil. They will benefit consumers, saving them billions of dollars at the pump and reduce our carbon pollution. It is critical that they remain in place.”

Markey, who helped write the 2007 law the led to the standards, said that the rules helped the domestic auto industry recover from the recession, while reducing dependence on foreign oil.

A rollback “would undoubtedly lead to costly litigation and create needless uncertainty for the auto industry, and threaten the economic and employment gains automakers have made in recent years,” he told reporters Tuesday. “Strong fuel efficiency standards have put American consumers in the driver’s seat, and that’s where they should stay.”

The EPA’s standards set greenhouse gas limits for vehicles, limits that strengthen throughout the time period ending in 2025.

They were set jointly with the Department of Transportation’s fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, and the two agencies work together to administer a single program.

Automakers agreed to the standards in 2012, but only under the condition that each agency evaluate by 2018 whether the standards are still feasible.

The EPA concluded in January that its part of the standards were feasible. That conclusion angered the industry, which said that the rules are unnecessarily expensive, and has asked Trump to formally reconsider them.

Both the EPA and DOT are reportedly planning to do that, launching the process as early as this week.

“Rolling back these commonsense, highly successful and overwhelmingly popular clean car standards are beyond disgraceful,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president for legislative affairs at the League of Conservation Voters.

“They’re doing exactly what they were designed to do: protect our health and climate, reduce our oil consumption, save consumers money and create jobs.”