U.S. EPA expected to reopen vehicle emissions decision -source

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By David Shepardson

<span class="articleLocation”>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is
expected to announce next week it would reopen a review of
2022-2025 vehicle emissions requirements after automakers urged
the Trump administration to reverse a decision under former
President Barack Obama, a source said on Friday.

Last week, trade groups representing General Motors Co
, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG,
Ford Motor Co, Honda Motor Co and others formally
asked new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to withdraw an Obama
administration decision to lock in vehicle emission rules
through 2025.

A person briefed on the matter who had seen the draft order
restarting the review said it was expected to be unveiled next
week. The source was not authorized to discuss contents of the
order publicly.

The EPA notice is expected to say that the agency plans to
work in tandem with the U.S. Transportation Department to set
consistent standards for corporate average fuel efficiency and
emissions limits, the source said.

A White House spokeswoman and an EPA spokesman declined to
comment.

The EPA had until April 2018 to decide whether the 2022-2025
standards were feasible under a “midterm review” but in November
moved up its decision to Jan. 13, just before Obama left office.

The auto group requests follow a separate letter to
President Donald Trump earlier this month from the chief
executives of GM, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV , along with the top North American executives
at Toyota, VW, Honda, Hyundai Motor Co, Nissan Motor
Co Ltd and others urging Trump to revisit the decision.

GM CEO Mary Barra told reporters on Tuesday that automakers
were “looking to actually have the midterm review.” She said the
review needs to look “at all the different dynamics that are
occurring.”

Automakers say the rules impose significant costs and are
out of step with consumer preferences. Environmentalists say the
rules save drivers fuel costs and should not be changed.

In 2011, Obama announced an agreement with automakers to
raise fuel efficiency standards to a fleet average of 54.5 miles
per gallon by 2025. This, the administration said, would save
motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the
vehicles but cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13
years.

In July, EPA said because Americans were buying fewer cars
and more SUVs and trucks, it now estimated the fleet will
average 50.8 mpg to 52.6 mpg in 2025.

Earlier Friday, eight environmental organizations urged
Pruitt not to reopen the issue. These included the Sierra Club,
Union of Concerned Scientists, League of Conservation Voters and
Natural Resources Defense Council.

“EPA should stay the course and look to the future, to
protect our climate and the workers developing clean car
technologies,” council President Rhea Suh said in a statement.



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