US federal government to loosen vehicle emissions requirements
The US government behind Donald Trump has gotten more specific with the measures announced in April that would loosen environmental requirements for vehicles. California and 18 other states have already announced their intention to defy the regulation.
The traffic safety agency NHTSA and the environmental agency EPA have recommended that the rules for fuel consumption be frozen until 2026. Special interest groups have 60 days to respond.
The recommendation was made “to ensure access to safe, affordable vehicles that are safe for the environment”, according to the NHTSA and the EPA. High vehicle prices have been steadily blamed on the stricter regulations enacted by the Obama administration to begin addressing climate change. The initial regulation had directed the lowering of fleet consumption for personal and small utility vehicles to about 4.4 litres per 100 km by 2025. The loosening of the requirements can largely be traced to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; the people producing the cars. They should be happy with the new federal directives.
The plan change would also mean that manufacturers don’t have to bring as many electrified vehicles onto the roads. Another aspect is that states will no longer be allowed to make their own laws and regulations on the subject – particularly California. Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, has stated the EPA initiative is a giant heap of bad ideas. He worries that the new regulations would actually increase pollution, rather than curb it. His organization has already vowed to fight the regulation publicly and in courts.
California also announced continued resistance: “The Trump administration has launched a brazen attack, no matter how it is cloaked, on our nation’s Clean Car Standards,” said California attorney general Xavier Becerra. He vowed to use every tool at his disposal to fight the legislation. The statements were made in a joint conference with governor Edmund Brown Jr. and head of the California environmental agency CARB, Mary Nichols. Next to California, another 18 states have announced their intention to block and fight the legislation.
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Important points the article brings out, are the attempt not only to reverse environmental gains made over the last years, but also to undermine individual State’s rights by the Executive Branch of the US Gov’t