Ryan: Move to ease back on emissions is bad for manufacturing

EPA says standards ‘are not appropriate’

Staff/wire report


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, says the move to ease back emissions standards is bad for manufacturing.

“The Trump Administration is setting Ohio back and putting General Motors Lordstown at risk,” Ryan said in a statement. “The current vehicle standards save consumers money, create thousands of manufacturing jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil that is wrecking our public health and environment.”

On Monday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the completion of the Midterm Evaluation process for the greenhouse gas-emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025. He determined that current standards “are not appropriate and should be revised.”

The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are working together to set “more appropriate” greenhouse gas emissions standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

Current regulations from the EPA require the fleet of new vehicles to get 36 miles per gallon in real-world driving by 2025. That’s about 10 mpg more than the existing standard.

“The Obama administration’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in a statement. “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”

The agency said that the regulation set under the Obama administration “presents challenges for auto manufacturers due to feasibility and practicability, raises potential concerns related to automobile safety, and results in significant additional costs on consumers, especially low-income consumers.”

Ryan noted that Ohio has 95,000 Ohioans working in the auto industry including the 3,000 that work at the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant where the Chevrolet Cruze, a compact car, is built.

“Our bottom line is jobs, and we can’t afford President Donald Trump’s policies that hurt one of our most important local industries,” Ryan said in the statement.

Automakers, however, applauded the decision, arguing that the current requirements would have cost the industry billions of dollars and raised vehicle prices due to the cost of developing the necessary technology.

“The rollback of U.S. emissions and fuel economy standards, which come as no surprise, will not suddenly prompt automakers to abandon all plans for cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader, in a statement. “These are global automakers who see the rest of the world marching in a different direction. To play in other markets, they must meet the standards of other countries, most notably China, the biggest car market in the world, which is demanding cleaner vehicles like electrics.”

Contributor: Associated Press

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