https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1118136_california-warns-it-wont-follow-lower-epa-fuel-economy-emissions-rulesCalifornia warns it won't follow lower EPA fuel economy, emissions rules
In response to an EPA proposal to freeze emissions and fuel economy standards, California said it will not honor federal vehicle certifications if the proposal goes through.
"The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed amending the California Low-Emission Vehicle III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to ensure that cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025 continue to meet California standards even if Federal standards are frozen," reads a statement from CARB reprinted in Green Car Congress.
Under a 2012 agreement with the EPA (which regulates emissions standards, including those of carbon dioxide) and NHTSA (which has statutory authority over fuel economy), California agreed that cars would be "deemed to comply" with California standards if they were approved by the federal agencies under standards as strict as the state's. Now the state says it will repeal that provision of its regulations if NHTSA and the EPA roll back increases that all three agencies and the automakers agreed to at that time.
"To ensure that the effects of any federal weakening for model years 2021 through 2025 are not felt in California, CARB is proposing amendments to its LEV III greenhouse gas emission regulations to clarify that the “deemed to comply” option is available only for the currently adopted federal greenhouse gas regulations," the statement reads.
This is the first step toward the divergence of federal and state standards that have been harmonized since 2012.
Automakers, which lobbied the Trump Administration to loosen the standards, insisted at the same time that their top priorities were to have a single national standard and to have regulatory certainty about what standards would be in force going forward.
Based on California's statement, it now looks like automakers may get neither.
Under California's new statement, If the EPA, and NHTSA succeed in freezing fuel economy standards, automakers may have to have to recertify cars in California that are already certified nationally. That's exactly the situation the automakers have said they want to avoid.
To address this problem, the Trump Administration proposal lays out a plan to rescind California's legal waiver to set its own fuel economy standard, which would render the California statement moot. California was granted that right in 1970 under the Clean Air Act, both because it has unique climate problems that trap smog in the air over California cities and because the state started regulating air quality and vehicle emissions before the federal government did. . . .
Also, via ABG:
https://www.autoblog.com/2018/08/15/epa-disputed-freezing-fuel-economy-would-save-lives/EPA staff disputed claim that freezing fuel economy would save lives
By their calculations, plan would cost more in lives, money, lost jobs
. . . The Transportation Department under President Donald Trump has proposed rolling back Obama administration rules requiring tough fuel efficiency standards and backs freezing the standards at 2020 levels through 2026.
In a June 18 memo posted by the Environmental Protection Agency on a regulatory website on Tuesday, EPA staff said they believed the plan would increase traffic deaths by 17 a year from 2036 through 2045 because of an increase in vehicle travel, rather than reduce deaths by 150 per year over that time as the Transportation Department contended. . . .
Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat, said the documents suggested the proposal is "based on bogus science and fundamentally flawed assumptions. The administration's own EPA itemized its technical concerns about the plan's baseless claims, but DOT and the White House seems to have willfully ignored much of it."
The EPA staff also concluded the plan would result in net societal costs of $83 billion, compared with the Transportation Department's estimate of net benefits of $49 billion.
EPA spokesman John Konkus said the documents showed only "a fraction of the robust dialogue that occurred during interagency deliberations for the proposed rule" and noted the government is seeking comments on a variety of alternatives. The final proposal did not adopt those EPA staff fatality estimates. . . .
Emails among the documents posted showed EPA staffers in meetings questioned modeling by the Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In a June memo, EPA called the NHTSA model "indefensible" and based on "unrealistic" assumptions.
EPA and NHTSA clashed over estimates about the future size of the U.S. vehicle fleet, total vehicle miles driven, automaker compliance costs as well as how long it would take consumers to recoup costs of buying fuel-efficient models, the emails showed.
The EPA document said the proposal could result in the loss of 27,000 to 35,000 jobs per year.
NHTSA said in a July 12 email to a White House office overseeing the proposal that the EPA criticism relied on a "developmental version" of its model and defended its analysis. . . .