Auto Trade Group Failed To Block EPA From Finalizing MPG Rules

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ proposal to stymie the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s move to finalize stringent gas mileage rules before President Obama leaves office on Jan. 20 didn’t pan out.

The auto trade group, which lobbies in Washington for automakers, requested Monday that lawmakers add language in a short-term budget bill that would have blocked the EPA from using funds to finalize emission rules for the 2022-2025 model years that required average fleet-wide efficiency of more than “50 miles per gallon” – actually high 30s on window stickers.

Under the original resolution schedule, a mid-term review that had been included in the emissions rules since before 2012 was to have been completed in April 2018. Instead, last week the EPA made the surprise announcement it would end the public comment period by Dec. 30, and move to lock in the rules before the current administration leaves office.

That left automakers and the lobby group little time to challenge the EPA’s move, and their effort apparently failed, as the Detroit News reported the budget bill passed late yesterday without the auto alliance’s proposed language.

The auto alliance represents BMW Group, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of America and Volvo Car USA.

Last week, the auto alliance issued a statement from its spokesperson Gloria Bergquist.

“EPA’s sudden and controversial move to propose auto regulations eight months early—even after Congress warned agencies about taking such steps while political appointees were packing their bags—calls out for congressional action to pause this rulemaking until a thoughtful policy review can occur,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Obama Administration Acts to Lock in 2025 Emissions Standards Ahead Of Trump’s Taking Office

Automakers had already urged President-elect Donald Trump last month to review the rules, saying the nearly double fleet-wide fuel efficiency by 2025 impose significant costs and are out of step with consumer preferences.

Trump has been skeptical over evidence of climate change, and has promised to block regulations that could unduly burden companies.

Once in office, the new president could seek legislation from Congress to soften the fuel-economy and emissions regulations or even launch a rule-making process to upend the EPA standards and other powers the federal agency can exercise.

If the Trump administration does make a move to overturn the EPA’s decision, it would likely results in lawsuits filled by environmental groups.

Detroit News

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