Watered Down Standards at the TRUMP CAFÉ

by Daniel Farber | August 06, 2018

Cross-posted from LegalPlanet.

Trump is proposing to gut CO2 standards for cars, freezing 2020 CAFE fuel-efficiency standards in place for years to come. Without the freeze, the standards would automatically ramp up. He also wants to eliminate California's ability to set its own standards, which many other states have opted to adopt. Here are seven key questions about Trump's proposed rollback and some answers.

Do the car companies really want this?

A: Not so much. It's not that they love being regulated. But the big downside for the car companies is regulatory uncertainty. Putting out a new car model costs $1-6 billion and takes 2½ to 3 years. Trump's rollback is going to be tied up in court for at least a year, maybe two, even assuming it's ultimately upheld. In the meantime, manufacturers won't be able to plan for post-2020 models. The manufacturers don't need this headache.

What about the economics? Will the rollback benefit society?

A: Not likely. Here, the best evidence is the analysis of the costs and benefits of eliminating the Obama rule by researchers at Resources for the Future, which specializes in environmental economics. They concluded that there was unlikely to be a net benefit to society. The Institute for Policy Integrity, an economics-oriented center at NYU, agrees. According to The New York Times, even Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist who now heads EPA, considers the evidence ...

Procedural Maze Continues for Vehicle Efficiency Regulation

by Lena Pons | December 01, 2010
Update: EPA and NHTSA have issued the Supplemental Notice of Intent. The regulatory process is often complex: agencies must balance opportunities for public comment, complex scientific information, and economic analysis, all while trying to craft a program that fulfills a legal mandate. But when it comes to crafting proposals for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards, the process has become an administrative nightmare. In May, President Obama announced plans for the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ...

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