Pruitt, Auto Industry, and Climate Deniers Retreat Behind Closed Doors to Weaken Fuel Efficiency Targets

This article discusses the EPA attempts to eliminate the changes to gasoline mileage standards that are set to be implemented. It will have disastrous impact on GHG emissions.

On Tuesday, April 3, surrounded by representatives of the auto industry and conservative climate deniers, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt formally announced his decision to rewrite greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light duty trucks, undercutting one of the Obama administration’s most effective climate programs.

From the last-minute, controversial venue change to the hypocritical messaging of its attendees, the announcement reflected the new normal in Trump’s Washington: the placement of industry influence and climate science denial front and center.

Pruitt argued that the agency had, under the previous leadership, rushed to conclude a midterm evaluation of emissions standards that the automakers had agreed to in 2012. In reality, the Obama midterm evaluation was built upon a 1,217 page analysis performed by EPA staff, a rigorous scientific and economic review that found that car companies currently had the technology to achieve the targets for model years 2022-2025, and that the economic benefits to car buyers would outweigh increased costs of compliance.

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