Harris, Senators Demand Answers on the EPA’s Move to Gut Vehicle Emissions Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 3, 2018 – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) requested that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt explain the revised so-called final determination on the historic 54.5 mpg fuel economy emissions standards. The revised final determination was announced yesterday and sets the stage for the Trump administration to gut the standards for model year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks.

“These weakened fuel economy emissions standards will force Americans to forgo many of the benefits of the originally agreed upon standards: consumers will pay more at the pump, the United States will import more oil, and the country will emit more greenhouse gases,” the Senators wrote. “You are also leaving automakers and consumers exposed to a potential regulatory patchwork of contradictory rules.”

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The Senators continued, “It is extremely troubling to us that EPA would seemingly bend to industry pressure and overturn an agreement that the auto industry had itself once supported.”

In this letter, the Senators ask Pruitt to detail meetings he took with the auto industry or the oil industry, as well as the modeling and methodology underlying the decision to throw out the final determination that was issued in January 2017.

These standards are projected to save nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil a day by 2030 – around as much oil as we currently import from OPEC countries every day – save consumers over $1 trillion and reduce global warming pollution by six billion metric tons. Since reaching an historic agreement with the Obama administration and state leaders, the auto industry has gone from the brink of economic disaster to record auto sales in 2015 and 2016, including adding 700,000 U.S. jobs.

A full copy of the letter can be found HERE.