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Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s former attorney general, was sworn in to his new role as Environmental Protection Agency administrator late Friday following a 52-46 Senate vote earlier in the day.
While it isn’t known what Pruitt did over the weekend, it’s safe to say that members of theÂ Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spent at least part of that downtime drafting a letter, likely mirroring one they’ve already sent to President Donald Trump.
The group, representing 12 automakers that build 77 percent of the light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S., wants action on lowering the industry’s fuel economy and emissions targets. Urgent action, ideally. Now that there’s been a change at the top, the group feels that it might finally get its wish.
Officially, the alliance wants the EPA to reopen a midterm review of federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards â€” a process that was ended a year early when the EPA decided, with days remaining before Trump’s inauguration, to keep the Obama administration’s 2025 targets. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t yet issued its recommendation.
According to Automotive News, the alliance waited out the weekend and President’s Day before delivering a letter to Pruitt yesterday.
In it, the group blasted the EPA’s past decision to end the review, calling it “the product of egregious procedural and substantive defects.” The decision was “riddled with indefensible assumptions, inadequate analysis and a failure to engage with contrary evidence,” the alliance added.
The EPA is reportedly reviewing the letter. While the agency expects to receive a number of executive orders from the president, there has been no word on what action, if any, could be taken to relax auto industry regulations. Pruitt told the Senate that he would review the Obama-era policies.
In recent months, the alliance, as well as the CEOs of various automakers, have expressed concern about how CAFE targets could impact their business and the cost of vehicles. The midterm review found that automakers had made decent headway towards the 2025 goal. Still, the alliance has stood firm, stating recently that 1 million jobs are threatened by the regulations.
After Pruitt’s confirmation as EPA head, the alliance issued a release stating:
[Image: General Motors]
via The Truth About Cars February 22, 2017 at 07:56AM