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Automakers urge EPA chief to revisit emission rules

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Automakers urge EPA chief to revisit emission rules

Automakers urge EPA chief to revisit emission rules

On Tuesday, a trade association that represents several automakers asked new EPA chief Scott Pruitt to withdraw an Obama administration decision to lock in vehicle emission rules through 2025.

The trade association represents General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen, AG and nine other automakers.

The determination that landmark fuel efficiency rules instituted by President Barack Obama should be finalized through 2025, was finalized by then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on January 13. The move was a bid to maintain a key part of his administration’s climate legacy.

A letter to Pruitt, written by Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said the decision was “the product of egregious procedural and substantive defects” and is “riddled with indefensible assumptions, inadequate analysis and a failure to engage with contrary evidence.”

Many automakers argue that the rules put in place could result in the loss of up to 1 million jobs because consumers could be less willing to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles. Automakers fear that consumers would be turned away by the higher price tag that would result from the engineering that goes into a more fuel-efficient car.

While the EPA had until April 2018 to decide whether the 2025 standards were feasible, in November the EPA moved its decision up to January 13, just before Obama left office.

The letter is being reviewed by the agency, EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said, however, she declined to comment further. Pruitt told the Senate panel earlier he will review the decision by the Obama administration.

The letter from Bainwol is not the only letter that has been sent recently asking that the decision be revisited. Earlier this month, the chief executives of GM, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, along with the top North American executives at Toyota, VW, Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and others sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking that he revisit the decision.

In January, McCarthy said the rules are “feasible, practical and appropriate” and in “the best interests of the auto industry.”

Meanwhile, automakers say that the rules impose significant costs and are out of line with consumer preferences. However, environmentalists disagree. They say that the rules are working and saving drivers thousands in fuel costs, therefore they should not be changed.

In July, the EPA said that because Americans were buying fewer cars and more light trucks, they estimate the fleet will average 50.8 mpg to 52.6 mpg in 2025.

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