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EPA Week in Review: 7/30-8/3

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This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continued to deliver on President Trump’s promises to the American people. On Tuesday, EPA released its annual Air Trends report highlighting a continued reduction in air pollution during the first year of the Trump Administration. On Wednesday, Acting Administrator appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee to testify on EPA’s continued work to achieve its core mission of protecting human health and the environment. Finally, on Thursday, EPA and DOT followed through on President Trump’s pledge to correct the Obama-era CAFE and GHG standards, releasing a proposal that aims to give consumers greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that pollute less.
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Bloomberg Headline:

Breitbart Headline:

The Daily Caller Reported On The Continued Reduction In Air Pollution While The U.S. Economy Has “Roughly Tripled In Growth.” The U.S. economy has roughly tripled in growth, including higher energy production, more vehicles on the road and a larger population in the same amount of time, according to the EPA. ‘Through federal and state implementation of the Clean Air Act and technological advances in the private sector, America has achieved one of the great public-private successes of our time – dramatically improving air quality and public health while simultaneously growing the nation’s population and economy,’ EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. ‘This report details a remarkable achievement that should be recognized, celebrated, and replicated around the world. A 73 percent reduction in any other social ill, such as crime, disease, or drug addiction, would lead the evening news.’” (The Daily Caller, 7/31/18)



CNN Headline:

Bloomberg Reported On The Hearing That Wheeler Is Taking A “Pragmatic Approach” To Ensuring President Trump’s Deregulatory Agenda. “And on Wednesday, during his first congressional hearing as acting administrator, Wheeler signaled he was willing to reach a compromise on the car standards that avoided a confrontation over California’s unique ability to enforce its own air pollution regulations. ‘It’s my goal – it’s the administration’s goal – to come up with a 50-state solution,’ Wheeler told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. ‘We want to have a 50-state solution that does not necessitate preempting California.’ Wheeler’s moves on vehicle emissions illustrate how he is taking a more cautious and pragmatic approach to easing the same regulations that Pruitt targeted for repeal or revision.” (Bloomberg, 8/1/18)


During a visit to Detroit last year, President Trump announced his administration would assess and correct the current vehicle fuel-economy standards, which impose significant costs on American consumers and eliminate jobs. The administration is continuing to deliver on that promise. On Thursday the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency are announcing a joint proposal to update the national automobile fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas standards to give consumers greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles, while continuing to protect the environment.

There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking. The standards implemented by the previous administration raised the cost and decreased the supply of newer, safer vehicles. The government also previously failed to conduct a midterm review in the manner promised. Customers’ preferences have also changed since the current standards were introduced.

Our goal is to ensure that consumers have a variety of safe, fuel-efficient choices so they can decide for themselves which options suit them best. This includes electric vehicles, for those who want them.

Already, the standards have helped drive up the cost of new automobiles to an average of $35,000—out of reach for many American families. Compared with the preferred alternative outlined in the proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years.

The EPA and the Transportation Department spent the past year gathering data and meeting with safety, environmental, and industry groups. This information was used to assess how fuel-economy requirements affect affordability, safety, jobs, pollution, the economy and our country’s energy needs. In terms of greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change, the last administration admitted its requirements would have minimal impacts. None of the options outlined in this administration’s proposed rule would have more than a negligible environmental impact either. This transparent, inclusive process is critical to creating one national standard that enhances safety and affordability while protecting the environment.

Read more here.

In An Interview With The Columbus Dispatch, Wheeler Stated That Automakers Can Continue To Be “As Innovative As They Can Be,” And That These Proposed Standards Represent “A Floor, Not A Ceiling.” “But Wheeler, in an interview with The Dispatch, disputed that idea, said the proposal would ‘provide stability long term’ for the auto industry. ‘It’s going to make sure that our auto manufacturers can produce the cars people want to buy and can afford them,’ he said, adding, ‘if people aren’t buying new cars, they’re holding on to older cars longer.’ He said the new rules represent ‘a floor, not a ceiling,’ and vehicle manufacturers can set fuel-economy standards at far higher rates than the rules suggest. ‘They can be as innovative as they can be,’ he said. ‘What we’re trying to do is not tell Detroit, not tell auto manufacturers, the specific levels and what cars people want to buy. We think that’s between automakers and consumers.’” (The Columbus Dispatch, 8/3/18)