Automakers meet with Trump to avoid two CAFE standards

When the heads of major automakers met last week with President Trump, both had the same goal on emissions: to avoid having two emissions standards, one for California and the 12 states plus DC that follow it and another for the rest of the country. If two standards were created, that would be a big problem for automakers and Washington area dealers because Maryland and DC follow California standards and Virginia follows federal standards.
Automakers are anxious to avert that scenario. Desire for a single national standard is the reason OEMs accepted the stringent rules set in 2012 under the Obama administration. The Environmental Protection Agency also wants a single standard, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made it clear that he doesn’t want California to set that standard.
California has said it will not back down from its strong emissions standards and has already sued the EPA for proposing to weaken federal standards (see article below). Prospects for reaching a compromise don’t look promising at this point.
There have been reports that the Trump administration will try to end California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act that allows it to set its own clean air standards. Two courts have already struck down that strategy. And such a move would certainly get bogged down in litigation and would end any hope for swift action on emissions standards.

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