EPA Announces One National Program Rule on Federal Preemption of State Fuel Economy Standards


Good morning. Thank you all so much for joining us It’s a pleasure to be here and with all of the officials from both the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Department of Transportation who are here. If you would, please let me introduce Secretary of Transportation Elaine L Chao whose leadership has been critical in bringing together all of the components to complete this important step on behalf of the president for the American people She has understood since this process began in 2017 the enormous benefits for consumers and especially to safety I know she has another engagement shortly following this across town. So please join me in welcoming Secretary Chao secretary Hey, good morning. Thank you all so much for being here Administrator Andrew Wheeler and I are so pleased to announce a major step forward in President Trump’s plan to help ensure that more Americans have access to Safer more affordable and cleaner new cars that meet their family’s needs two and a half years ago President Trump spoke with auto workers in Michigan and said that we would review and revise the last administration’s unattainable fuel economy regulations those rules were making cars more expensive and Impeding safety because consumers were being priced out of newer safer vehicles Our team of experts have been jointly working together conducting a long thoughtful and detailed review of these rules and Today’s action is an important downpayment on the president’s commitment the one national program that we are Announcing today will ensure that there is one and only one set of national fuel economy standards as Congress mandated and intended no state has the authority to up out of the nation’s rules and No state has the right to impose its policies on everybody else in our whole country to do otherwise harms consumers and damages the American economy It should be noted that This rule only applies to fuel economy. It will not Affect California’s ability to refocus its efforts on fighting the worst air pollution in the country and comply with existing regulations in the coming weeks We’ll also be publishing the second part of the safe vehicles rule which will set new national standards fuel economy standards and While the second part is not yet finalized. I can say that the updated standards will be reasonable and For the sake of the American worker the whole entire workforce American by me let me say that over again and for the sake of American workers American car buyers And the economy the rule will not force automakers to spend billions of dollars developing cars that consumers do not want to buy or drive? The new standards will help Make new vehicles more affordable and will ensure that the American consumer Still has a variety of choices when selecting vehicles that best suits their family’s needs The new standards will save our country billions of dollars. They will strengthen our domestic manufacturing base by adding millions of new car sales and of course supporting Good-paying American jobs and most importantly because newer cars are safer, the standards will save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of serious injuries so with today’s one national program rule The administration is standing up for all Americans their needs and their right to choose We will not let political agendas in a single state be forced upon the other 49 and we will always put safety first Thanks so much Thank you very much secretary Chao It is now my privilege to introduce the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew wheeler thanks to administrator Wheeler’s leadership EPA is delivering on President Trump’s agenda to grow the economy and Improve lives while at the same time protecting the environment and human health Today’s action is the latest in a long line of a very important regulatory Reforms at EPA and I know that he will continue to keep me and my team very busy Please join me in welcoming Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Thank you, and I want to thank your whole team Thank You Secretary Chao I want to thank your whole team in particularly with our teams together work long and hard over the last Months to get this proposal where it is And I want to thank you and for the professionalism of your of your staff and everything that we’ve done together President Trump Promised the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards Today, we are delivering on a critical element of the President’s commitment EPA and DOT are issuing a final action that will establish one set of national fuel economy standards Let me be clear our goal from the beginning was a 50-state solution I met with CARB three times since taking the lead at EPA over a year ago, but despite our best efforts We cannot reach a solution We embrace federalism in the role of states But federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the entire country to borrow from Louisiana Attorney General, Jeff Landry CAFE does not stand for California assumes federal empowerment So we are moving forward with one national fuel economy standard. We believe the law is clear no state has the authority to opt out of national fuel economy standards and No state has the authority to set its own fuel any standards that impact human safety the environment And commerce for the rest of the country One national standard will provide much-needed certainty to the automotive industry And it sets the stage for president Trump’s ultimate objective a final safe rule that will save lives and strengthen the economy By reducing the price of new vehicles and helping more Americans purger purchase newer cleaner and safer cars and trucks This is good for public safety good for the economy and good for the environment Here’s how today’s action works under the energy policy and conservation act or EPCA, DOT sets cafe standards Expressly provides that the federal government regulates fuel economy. Not the states Since there’s a direct scientific link between a car’s greenhouse gas emissions and its fuel economy DOT is determining that EPCA permit pre-empts state GHG and zero emission vehicle programs That’s one basis on which EPA intends to withdraw the 2013 waiver for California’s state GHG and Zev programs separate and apart from that EPA is withdrawing the waiver based on our Interpretation and application of one of the criteria for denying a waiver Does the state need its standards to meet quote compelling and extraordinary conditions? understood in its origin and context the California waiver authority exists because California has uniquely bad problems with smog forming pollutants There’s a direct and tight link between one California cars and their emissions of criteria Pollutants to the local concentrations of those emissions and three the impacts they have on California due to the state’s extraordinary perfect storm of features like population traffic temperature when ocean currents and topography But for greenhouse gases the tight and direct link isn’t there California cars have no closer link to California climate impacts than do cars on the road in Japan or anywhere else in the world and California’s climate impacts are not extraordinarily distinct from those felt in other states in the same way that its smog impacts are It makes sense. The Congress carved out waiver authority for California to address its unique local problems It does not make sense to use that authority to try to address national and global issues like greenhouse gas emissions It’s time to put California’s waiver back in its box. The Box that Congress always intended it to stand California’s unique extraordinary criteria air pollutant issues Today’s action does not impact a number of other, California programs Including its low emission vehicle program designed to address harmful ozone and other forms of air pollution This will allow the state to focus on addressing its air quality problems and finally achieving compliance with EPA’s national ambient air quality standards California has the worst air quality in the United States It has 82 non-attainment areas and 34 million people living in areas that do not meet the NATTS standars. That’s more than twice as many people as any other state in the country. We hope that the state will focus on these issues rather than trying to set fuel economy standards for the entire country Today’s action also clears the way for our final safe rule our proposed safe rule reflects What we believe is the right approach to national fuel economy standards Right for Public Safety and the environment now we get four reasons. Why first revising the standards will reduce the price of new vehicles The average sticker price of a new vehicle reached thirty nine thousand five hundred in the first half of this year This is simply out of reach for many American families The current trajectory of the standards is one of the factors driving costs higher in order to comply with the Obama standards automakers need to sell many more electric vehicles By some counts, they will need to produce lineups that are 50% electric or more over the next seven years however, electric vehicles cost $12,000 more to make than the average vehicle according to Mackenzie analysis Those costs are passed on to the consumers Which is one reason why electric vehicles are still despite billions of dollars in subsidies Less than 2% of new vehicle sales But one way for automakers to meet the standards is to lower the price of electric vehicles and raise the price of other more popular Vehicles such as SUVs and trucks in other words American families are paying more for SUVs and trucks So that automakers can sell v’s at a cheaper price It’s one thing for the American public to directly subsidize electric vehicles through tax incentives it’s another thing to use the nation’s vehicle emission standards to prop up a product that has minimal impact on the environment and only The wealthy can afford of the roughly 57 thousand households that receive the evie tax credit in 2016 nearly 80 percent made over $100,000 if these people want to buy an Eevee I think they can afford one without asking low and middle-income Americans to help pay for it Compared to keeping the 2012 standards in place The preferred option and our safe proposal would reduce the price of new vehicles by thousands of dollars which leads directly to my second point Revising the standards and reducing the price of new vehicles will save lives Research shows the passengers are more likely to be killed in older vehicles Compared to newer ones according to the NATTS a study a driver of a vehicle 8 to 11 years old That’s the vehicle not the driver is nearly 20% More likely to be fatally injured than the driver of a vehicle that was three years old or less the driver of a vehicle That’s 12 to 14 years old is 32 percent more likely to die in an accident and a driver of a vehicle That’s 15 to 17 years old is 50% more likely to be fatally injured by revising the standards in reducing the price of new vehicles We will help Americans purchase newer and safer cars and trucks We estimate that our proposed revised standards to the safe rule could save thousands of lives Third we are revising the standards in a manner that will have a negligible impact on the environment Compared to the current standards here are two important facts that the public needs to know first Even the most stringent vehicle standards imaginable will have only a minimal impact on global temperatures according to the Obama Administration’s 2012 analysis even a much more stringent version of version of their rule than the one that they eventually finalized would have only lowered global temperatures by two one hundredths of a degree celsius by 2100 So it’s important to put things in context. We’re talking about changes in the hundreds of a degree celsius by 2100 Here’s the second fact most automakers cannot comply with the trajectory of the current standards For model year 2016 domestic passenger vehicle manufacturers paid more than 77 million dollars For non-compliance and a model year 2017 only three large manufacturers complied based on the technology levels of their vehicles alone most large Manufacturers used banked credits along with technology improvements to maintain compliance The most recent d-o-t data on credits and the shortfall between the fleet and the CAFE compliance Suggests that this figure may rise dramatically to the due to the increasing stringent of the Obama standards For example the total shortfall and cafe credits for model year 2018 is the equivalent of almost 1.3 billion dollars More than ten times higher than the equivalent shortfall for model year 2011 which was just over a hundred million This begs the question why keep the standards that automakers can only comply with through credits and paying fees we believe that the changes are needed and that the SAF proposal set forth our view of what changes are appropriate and Because our ruled remove certain credits and fees our standards would have a negligible impact on the environment Compared to the current standards fourth and finally revising the standards will help more Americans purchase newer cleaner and for cars, the average age of vehicles on the road today is a record high of 12 years in 1990 the average age was 8 years Either consumers cannot afford the price of new vehicles or they are not interested in purchasing certain types of new vehicles Either way the lack of fleet turnover creates a host of problems the most important of which is passenger safety by revising the standards We will reduce the price of new vehicles and as prices fall President Trump’s vision becomes reality More Americans will be able to purchase newer cleaner and safer vehicles vehicles They actually want to buy the president knows that accelerating fleet. Turnover is good for the auto industry It’s good for consumers. It’s good for public safety, and it’s good for the environment Thank you for your time today and for your attention and thank you for joining us today Thank you very much administrator Wheeler I would also now like to take this opportunity to invite congressman From the first victory of California Congressman Doug Lamar for your remarks, sir. Thank you And thank you very much I’m delighted to be here today for this subject matter, especially In my real life. I’m a farmer in Northern, California And I’m very in touch with our constituents on what their automotive needs are and what we’re really talking about. The bottom line here is auto choice People in this country still like to have choices and when I saw this Obama era mandate coming down the line a few years ago and thinking how realistic is it by the year 2025 all Automobiles in the fleet would have to average 55 miles per gallon I can’t even think of what a 55 mile per gallon vehicle looks like right now Especially what that means for the average buyer, you know is that a mom need to get her kids to school and off to do the other chores or a dad or people just might want to have a vehicle with a little bit of room in it because they got some guys my size Right. So I think that what we’re really seeing is that this administration and I really want to be very thankful to Secretary Chao ministry leader assistant administrator. It’s all on Listening to the people in this situation, California Air Resources Board for my constituents They plead with me and my state legislative colleagues To say can we have some relief from their latest dream. They have each month or each six months on a new mandate I have legislation to make it for example less costly to buy full-size trucks for people to use in agriculture you if you’ve got it a truck brought it everything you have has been brought by a truck and So we want to update trucks have them burn a little cleaner a little better But there’s a punitive tax a federal excise tax sent over twelve to fifteen thousand dollars on top of all the rest of that’s acts For buying a new truck to update with if we want to incentivize it We need to give people what they need to have the affordability for it same thing goes with automobiles Administrator Wheeler really hit it out of the park from where I was sitting that This comes down to subsidizing other people Into these electric vehicles and we know standing alone electric vehicles do not pay and the electricity comes from somewhere It doesn’t just magically happen nearby I have a lot of the power lines running from my district From hydroelectric plants and other plants many miles through my rice fields to go to the urban areas So people can feel good about themselves of plugging into their electric car. So the reality is The better we can make our gasoline-powered vehicles the more efficient and the tailpipe is still clean on All these cars no matter what their size with their mpg is so really talked about so we’re chasing co2 numbers here So the reality is is that our manufacturers are making better cars than ever on efficiency on aerodynamics and cars that you like to drive I’m a car enthusiast myself and One of the manufacturers. I’m not very happy with with cutting a deal with California going behind the backs It’s administration who is looking out for consumer choice in this country. So at this point, I hope we can keep going straight ahead and I will support the efforts have been straighter Wheeler EPA I never thought I’d be saying that a lot about that but and Secretary Chao and right home in my own district. We’re just now putting out a 54 thousand acre forest fire if you want to talk about air quality Year after year after year Hundreds of thousands of acres of forest burn in the West and I know I realize that’s a different building down the street Was the USDA and our Forest Service and they’re working on making things better. And also this Migrant migratory emissions that come from other areas that affect our state too so forcing us into our little caves and our little tiny cars is not going to change the situation for my constituents for Californians and certainly to have the state of California and the California Air Resources Board dictatorial policies going towards the rest of the 50 states Again, my people plead for relief from hard to say let’s put reasonable regulations back in place so I hope this administration does not give up at all on fighting carb and Because that’s all California seeds wants to do is fight us here in Congress and this administration Every day they think up a new lawsuit a new thing to come after as we’re just trying to make jobs happen in this country Not in China all these things we have to manufacture somewhere else to make these electric cars go Why aren’t we mining the materials in this country? We need four batteries for this high-tech Apparatus we need across the board instead. We expect other countries to supply it to us supply the manufacturing supply the raw materials So we’re on the right track because we can do it better more efficiently even more Ecologically soundly in this country than anywhere in the world if we’re allowed to do it. So again my thanks Secretary Mr. Ed wheeler assistant administrator It’s all in secretary Chao and everybody in this room here today that is being part of this to give us our choices back For our constituents for what? They need, not what they need in Sacramento. Thank you Thank you very much for your remarks Congressman Lamothe that concludes our press event this morning We remain available to answer any questions you might have. Thank you all very much for joining us this morning Sure Hi administrator wheeler California has oh sorry Chris Knight with Argos media So California has gotten four state of four automakers. Just say they’re gonna support their rules How many automakers have told you they’re going to support the safe rule when it comes out? What I still waiting to see what the final safe numbers look like, of course and we’re talking to all the auto manufacturers including the four that that That signed that agreement although I don’t believe there’s actually an agreement that’s been made public that they’ve actually signed I think it’s more in theory but when we are at course sent a letter to California last week to ask what the legal authority is for this for this agreement so we are looking in to that aspect but we expect at the end of the day when we release the Second half of the safe proposal the standards that all the automakers will take a look at it and see that it is It’s feasible. It’s the right thing to do and I expect everybody will support it And hopefully the state of California will put politics aside and support it as well Hi Tim (unintelligible) news for Administrator Wheeler President Trump said last night that EPA is going to be issuing some sort of Notice of Violation against San Francisco over something about water pollution and homelessness Can you tell us anything more about that? I can’t comment on potential enforcement actions Um Sarah mock rfd-tv up for administrator wheeler, could you give us an update on the conversations? you’re having with the White House in the USDA about the Renewable Fuels standard and The waiver issue that’s going on right now. We’re continuing to have very good conversations. Thank you. Next question Oh Ministry wheeler Dave Shepherd Center from Reuters over here two-part question one Can you say definitively? now whether the safe rule will will not be the preferred option whether it will increase the standards that some amount whether it’s half a percent one percent or one a Half percent and can you also address? By revoking the waiver now as a as a separate rule. What does that do to the legal strategy? do you think that speeds up the Administration’s court review of this issue. And and do you think it’s feasible that you could see the Supreme Court? You know take action or consider this before the the end of a first term I’m going to defer to my my general counsel on that second half but Now I’m trying remember the first half of the question. Oh We are we’re looking at all the options right now, we’ve not made a final decision yet on what the standards will be I think I’ve got a record saying that the the final will not look exactly the same way that we proposed it we received a lot of comments from a lot of people during the comment period for The SAFE proposal and we take those comments very seriously We’re taking a look at what what it would mean for the program. And what makes the best sense Again to fulfill President Trump’s objective of having cleaner safer cars for the American public of American public wants to purchase Sure, I’m Matt Leopold EPA General Counsel, I I think this is an issue that you know, we proposed to take action on and and we’re eager to get the opportunity to have this reviewed in the courts, and we’re ready to defend our interpretation of the waiver withdraw along with Department of Transportation — Preemption theory and we’re very confident that the courts will review that favorably Hey, thanks, I’m Steve Bradbury the Acting Deputy Secretary of Transportation and General Counsel the legal issues that are addressed in today’s We like to call it the one national program rule part 1 of the safe vehicles rule the preemption issues and the waiver revocation are separable from the standards that will be addressed in the rest of the safe vehicles rule later this fall and These are very very important This is a very important first step in achieving one national program and these legal issues Really are the key to achieving what the auto industry and the entire Automobile sector has long asked for which is certainty and clarity on What will those 1 national standards be and how assured can we be that we will not have to build cars? to meet multiple different standards across the country and so that’s what this issue addresses in today’s rule and the fact that we’re we’re pulling it out of the Larger safe vehicles rule and doing it first We’re ready to go on on these determinations. This rule will be Separably will be able to be Challenged in court on its own if California so wishes for example, and we can get a we can accelerate the timetable for getting a definitive final judgement from the courts as to the fact that it was we believe it’s very clear Congress mandated federal law should control in this area and once we get Those final determinations in court on these Focused legal issues. We’ll get that certainty for for the auto sector and for the entire nation, so it’s very important to We think to take this first step Thanks, we have time for one more question They’ll go be with inside EPA a question for Mr. Wheeler, I think I understood the first part where you were saying that the standards change would have a negligible environmental impact I thought I heard you say it would also be good for the environment. Could you clarify how that happens Thanks. Sure older cars pollute more than newer cars The average age of the car today on the road is 12 years. It used to be eight years By decreasing the cost of the cars We believe it will increase purchase of new cars getting older cars off the road So newer cars will replace them and those newer cars are better for the environment the better for Public Safety and their what the American public wants to purchase Thank you very much. I have to go to the house science hearing. Thank you Thank you all again very much for joining us today and have a great morning

13 thoughts on “EPA Announces One National Program Rule on Federal Preemption of State Fuel Economy Standards

  1. Pro-Pollution trumpkins let democracy s l i d e into ruin. Do they crap in their own bathtubs? same thing – ' unattainable?' auto makers claimed installing seat belts would be cost prohibitive back in the day..

  2. Safety is a transparently bullshit justification for this. Automakers haven't ever had to sacrifice safety for weight reductions. They've simply switched to higher strength steels. It's also much easier to fudge a justification on a safety basis than to beat the hard numbers for cost/benefit on the original regulatory rulemaking.

  3. 14:52 that's their own fault. We've had the tech for at least ten years to meet them – SAE papers have long demonstrated experiential cars with 60+ mpg. The major manufacturers have just never tried.

    And now that a few of them are thinking about doing better than the regs require, they're being investigated for antitrust.

  4. 17:51 let's hear these constituents who want to spend more of their money fueling their pickup trucks and less on their families, farms, etc…

  5. 18:13 lots of presentations, papers, and articles I've read by SAE engineers say that it's totally possible. It's the auto executives who want to squeeze every little drop of profit out of consumers that complain.

  6. 18:20 "I have never ever seen a hybrid vehicle, and I know nothing about the Ford/Achates 40 mpg F-150 prototype. I refuse to learn about them."

  7. 19:01 "I know nothing about the rulemaking history of C.A.F.E. standards, which of course, never said anything about this in 2013, or ever before. And no other country has ever enacted stringent fuel economy standards. Fight me"

  8. 19:50 yeah sure, even though you don't have numbers.
    They require essentially no maintenance, their powertrains last for hundreds of thousands of miles longer, and even in places with expensive electricity (like here in NY at ~$0.22/kWh) they're so efficient that they still cost less to drive. They're so efficient that they still emit less carbon when they're charged from coal-produced electricity.

  9. 22:12 ok you're just jealous there isn't a gigafactory in your district. Related: China is gaining a serious foothold in the EV market, and they will get ahead if we keep this shit up.

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