Trump may push for post-Pruitt CAFE and emissions rollbacks

The Trump administration will also reportedly target California's right to set its own emissions standards and its EV sales mandate.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
Enlarge Image

President Trump reportedly plans to go toe-to-toe with California over its emissions waiver and its EV sales mandate.

Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

So, if you're like us, you probably figured that the Trump administration's attack on federal fuel economy guidelines and California's right to set its own vehicle emissions standards went the way of the buffalo when Scott Pruitt got kicked to the curb, but we were wrong.

Bloomberg reports that the Donald is preparing to double down on rolling back emissions and CAFE standards, despite the threat of legal action by more than a dozen states, including California, aka the world's fifth largest economy, and protest by the auto industry itself.

The policy proposal -- which hasn't officially been announced -- will likely cap federal fuel economy standards at the 2020 level of 35 miles per gallon average. It will also seek to block the renewal of the so-called "California Waiver" granted by the EPA with the adoption of the 1975 Clean Air Act that allows California to adopt stricter vehicle emissions standards than those set by the federal government.

"Honda continues to support one national program that aligns the regulations of EPA, NHTSA and California," said Robert J. Bienenfeld, associate vice president of regulatory policy for American Honda Motor Company. "To do so, we advocate maintaining the current standards that would raise the average fuel economy of the US light-duty vehicle fleet to a projected 50.8 mpg by 2025 based on the current US light-duty vehicle fleet mix. Importantly, we also seek the reinstatement of flexibilities that exist in the regulation today but that are mostly phased-out by 2021."

The other attack on California comes in the form of a proposed revocation of the state's mandate that automakers sell electric vehicles. Whether this would be enforceable at a federal level, isn't entirely clear but in practice, it would likely mean very little given that the bulk of major automakers have already invested in EV technology.

Most efficient non-hybrid cars in 2018

See all photos