The Trump administration is still evaluating key aspects of its plan to weaken Obama-era fuel-efficiency requirements, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said, signaling that the final standards for autos after 2020 may be more stringent than initially recommended.
A final decision on the fuel-efficiency requirements that automakers must meet after 2020 hasn’t been made, Wheeler told reporters at a Washington event Tuesday, adding “it’s safe to say our final will not look exactly like the way we proposed it.” Wheeler added that he is still committed to easing the auto standards set during the Obama administration.
The EPA and Transportation Department’s 2018 proposal recommended capping emissions and mileage requirements at 2020 levels, along with several options that would require annual improvements. Most automakers have opposed the agencies’ plan to freeze the standards, instead urging the Trump administration to adopt rules requiring annual improvements.
Wheeler also said the administration hasn’t decided whether to separately advance a plan revoking California’s authority to set its own requirements, adding “we are looking at that, it is certainly an option.”
Under that plan, the EPA would revoke a waiver granted to California allowing the state to limit vehicle greenhouse gas emissions more stringently than federal rules, as well as the state’s requirement that companies sell electric cars in greater numbers each year, people familiar with the matter have said. In addition, the Transportation Department would to assert that the California standards are preempted by federal fuel-economy regulations, according to the people.