Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, April 2, 2018

Contact: Vera Pardee, (858) 717-1448,

Trump Administration Plans to Weaken Tailpipe Pollution Standards

WASHINGTON— The EPA announced plans today to roll back greenhouse gas standards for cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022 through 2025.

“Loosening limits on dirty tailpipe pollution spells disaster for our health and planet,” said Vera Pardee, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “Cleaning up our vehicle fleet is urgent and easily achievable, but Trump and Administrator Pruitt refuse to pick even this low-hanging fruit in the fight against climate change.”

Automakers have lobbied the EPA to weaken the standards, arguing in part that they are harder to meet since consumers are opting for larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles. The industry did not address how that trend may be influenced by the outsized marketing budgets for trucks and SUVs, the vehicles that are the industry’s best money-makers.

“Anyone who’s ever watched the Super Bowl knows the auto industry tries to gin up ‘consumer preference’ for gas guzzlers,” Pardee said. “Automakers are using the very trends they spend billions of dollars creating to weasel out of these critical protections.”

In 2012 the EPA set greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2017-2025. The standards aimed to halve carbon dioxide emissions from tailpipes and boost average fleet-wide fuel efficiency to over 50 mpg by 2025. The agency allowed for a midterm evaluation of the 2022-2025 guidelines to be completed no later than April 2018.

In January 2017 the EPA completed the midterm evaluation, concluding that the standards were readily achievable, created overwhelming benefits for the public, and, if anything, could be strengthened. The evaluation noted that since the rules were established in 2012, the technology has become cheaper and improved even more rapidly than anticipated.

In March 2017, following automaker complaints, Trump announced his administration would reconsider the standards and gather more data about consumer behavior, costs, technology and impacts.

Fossil-fuel vehicles are currently the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas pollution. They also emit pollutants that cause ground-level ozone and lead to asthma and other serious health problems.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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