Trump Administration To Review Vehicle Emissions Rules

U.S. President Donald Trump, center, Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors Co., left, and Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, listen during a meeting at the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 24 2017.

Donald Trump will on Wednesday begin the process of rolling back carbon pollution standards for vehicles at a meeting with automakers in Detroit, Michigan.

"We're going to bring a lot of jobs back to MI and OH and Pennsylvania", Trump said at the roundtable.

President Trump formally began the process of reviewing the Obama administration's strict emissions standards for vehicles on Wednesday, telling manufacturers in MI that the decision would help their bottom lines and grow jobs.

Trump has been critical of the auto industry and threatened to impose high tariffs on the auto industry for cars and parts manufactured in Mexico and imported to the United States, and also has pledged to unravel the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Since they don't have to take a decision until next year, maybe the potential success of some upcoming electric vehicles, like the Tesla Model 3, will force them to go electric anyway. The Auto Alliance also argued that there is precedent for the EPA to reconsider decisions made very recently by a previous administration. That Draft Technical Assessment Report [PDF], which looked at whether or not the auto industry will be able to reach the 2022 to 2025 mpg standards, was the first step in the mid-term review.

Barry Rabe, a professor at UM's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, agreed that loosening fuel economy standards would benefit the economy in MI on a short-term basis, but wondered how changes to emission targets would impact automobile manufacturing in the long haul.

"We need to put clean auto standards in the fast lane to keep our air clean and our climate safe", said Michael Brune, executive director of environmental group, the Sierra Club.

"We are going to cancel that executive action", he said in a speech at the American Center for Mobility, an automotive research and development facility outside Detroit.

"The assault on the American auto industry is over", he said.

Trump had a busy day in MI.

The move comes as President Trump promises to dismantle climate regulations and offer relief to the oil and gas industry, but it remains unclear to what degree the administration or automakers are seeking to roll back the rules. At that time, the Presidential Administration wanted to get automakers to achieve a Corporate Average Fuel Economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

At the time, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association said it supported the tougher fuel standards, stating that harmonization with the USA would allow companies to spread anticipated increased costs over a larger consumer base.

"Staying behind a well laid out schedule that has many global players is inconsistent with growing the economy", she said.

As CNN notes, the rules were not a surprise to anyone, as they were announced back in 2012 by the Obama administration.

  • Leroy Wright