Trump administration axes Obama-era clean car standards


Trump administration axes Obama-era clean car standards

Daniel de Vries

5 April 2018

The Trump administration announced Monday it was rolling back Obama-era climate rules for cars and passenger trucks. The move, pushed by major automakers, formally reopens greenhouse gas standards for vehicles to be built from 2022 through 2025.

The announcement is the latest in a series of efforts aimed at gutting environmental regulations, particularly related to climate change. Following Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, the Environmental Protection Agency initiated last October the repeal of climate rules for power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan.

The power generation and transportation sectors are the two largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions in the country, emitting an estimated 56 percent of the nation’s inventory. The primary measures to control greenhouse gas emissions in both sectors are now undergoing repeal. The Trump administration has also moved to weaken or eliminate a wide range of environmental restrictions on oil and gas drilling and other heavily-polluting industries.

Accompanying the deregulation efforts are attacks on environmental science. EPA chief Scott Pruitt, echoing his boss in the White House, continues to downplay or outright deny humanity’s primary role in climate change. EPA public affairs officials last week instructed staff to parrot the misleading line that “the ability to measure with precision the degree and extent” of human impact on climate change is “subject to continuing debate,” and “clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity” in climate change.

Earlier in the week Pruitt proposed a policy change to block the agency’s ability to consider a substantial portion of…

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