CARB vs. CAFE: Here’s what the emissions dustup in the news this week is all about
Simply put, GM, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler want regulatory freezes; Ford, Honda, VW and BMW back CARB rules.
The White House is walking back a proposed freeze in CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) rules, according to the Wall Street Journal. The administration is now looking at a 1.5 percent annual increase in fleet fuel efficiency, “using an industry measure that takes both gas mileage and emissions reductions in account,” sources told WSJ. The Trump administration had been trying to soften rules set by President Obama and agreed upon in 2012.
California — who, along with 13 other states, uses a separate set of rules set by CARB (California Air Resources Board) — says 1.5 percent wouldn’t meet its current targets for clean air.
The proposal split the industry, with General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler filing a lawsuit over the Obama-era standards Monday, “lending support to the Trump administration’s argument that the federal government should set emissions targets,” according to WSJ. However, in July, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW agreed to recognize California’s authority, sticking with the stricter CARB targets. In response, the White House and Justice Department opened an investigation into whether the four companies violated antitrust statutes in their deals with the Golden State.
Andrew Wheeler, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, said last week the new rules, with inputs from the industry, “would be more restrictive than the proposed freeze.” The agency expects both automakers and California would be appeased.
“I’m, again, the eternal optimist: Once everybody sees our final CAFE regulation, everybody will see that it makes sense and maybe we won’t have litigation on that part of it,” Mr. Wheeler said to WSJ.