So with all that success under our belts, why does the current administration think the EPA got it so wrong when it set standards from 2017 to 2025?
We didn't, and one look at the extensive record we compiled is convincing. Pruitt's decision relies on statements from industry lobbyists, rather than objective analysis of all the relevant data and information. The current standards, including those set for 2022-25, remain achievable, affordable and essential. They will deliver needed public health improvements while allowing the U.S. to maintain a strong presence in the worldwide fight against climate change. The rule is good for business, even better than originally estimated. And while the automakers didn't see record new-car sales this year, their business is still booming by all accounts.
We're now seeing automakers speaking up to reiterate their commitment to climate action and their support for the standards in the existing rule. Some, such as Ford, Toyota and Honda, are asking the EPA to work with California to consider adjusting the incentives in the rule and raising their business concerns about reopening the standards themselves. They know that the one national car program is essential to maintain. They know they can produce clean, fuel-efficient vehicles that will meet or exceed the existing standards, because they are doing it right and sending those cars to China and the EU. Why? Because China and the EU are demanding them.
Lobbyists for the automakers visited the White House very early in the new administration, and my guess is they asked for the moon. That's generally what lobbyists do. But what they likely didn't expect was that they would actually get what they asked for. This administration wasn't interested in the substance of the rule, why it was needed or the protections it would afford. And its decision isn't designed to be, nor is it, good for our automakers who know they have to produce the cars of the future, not just cede the clean-car market to other countries.