Green Car Congress  
Home Topics Archives About Contact  RSS Headlines

« NVIDIA partners with Bosch for autonomous driving system based on next-generation DRIVE PX Xavier Platform | Main | Tesla to raise about $1.15 with offerings of common stock and convertible senior notes »

Print this post

EPA re-opens Mid-Term Evaluation Process for light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards 2022-2025

15 March 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that EPA intends to reconsider its final determination issued on 12 January 2017 which recommended no change to the greenhouse gas standards for light duty vehicles for model years 2022- 2025. (Earlier post.) EPA will reconsider that determination in coordination with NHTSA as part of a renewed Mid-Term Evaluation process.

This process was established as a part of the 2012 final greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017-2025, requiring EPA to determine no later than 1 April 2018 whether the greenhouse gas standards for model years 2022-2025 established are appropriate. In coordination with EPA, the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is evaluating its fuel economy standards for that period. In accord with this schedule, the EPA intends to make a new Final Determination regarding the appropriateness of the standards no later than 1 April 2018.

Background. In 2009, EPA issued an Endangerment Finding that vehicle greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change, and thus threaten public health and welfare. In 2012, EPA and NHTSA set joint greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards over a decade in advance for MY 2022-2025.

As part of the 2012 joint rulemaking by EPA and NHTSA establishing the model year (MY) 2017-2025 light-duty vehicle GHG (EPA) and fuel economy (NHTSA) standards, the agencies made a regulatory commitment to conduct a Midterm Evaluation (MTE) of the standards for MY 2022-2025.

The MTE was agreed to because at the time, no agency had set emissions standards so far in the future; this, in turn, entailed some obvious uncertainties. The agencies agreed at the time that the review would be collaborative, and developed in tandem. Both indicated that they would note complete a proposed rulemaking until mid-2017 at the earliest.

However, in November 2016, EPA issued a proposed determination maintaining the current standards without modification—without coordination with NHTSA. The final standards as maintained were projected to result in an average industry fleet-wide level of 163 grams/mile of CO2 in model year 2025—equivalent to 54.5 mpg (4.31 l/100 km), if achieved exclusively through fuel economy improvements. Thence, EPA issued its Final Determination 14 days after the comment period (which was only 24 days and spanning the holiday period) closed.

In December, Global Automakers, the trade association representing the US divisions of 12 international automakers, had called on the EPA either to withdraw the proposed determination or to extend the comment period (earlier post):

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to rush forward with its Midterm Evaluation and issue a Proposed Determination on MY 2022-2025 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards undermines the important process the regulators and automakers agreed to in 2012 for establishing one harmonized national program for regulating GHG and fuel economy. Global Automakers and its members remain committed to the goals of one national program and therefore are asking the EPA to withdraw its Proposed Determination, or at the very least grant an extension of the current 30-day comment period.

Emissions standards going forward were to be based on a data-driven and objective review in which the EPA, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are aligned every step of the way. The hasty decision to accelerate the EPA process, taken in the waning days of an Administration, raises serious concerns about the objectivity and factual foundation of their action.

We look forward to working with EPA, NHTSA and CARB on harmonized standards that are achievable, cost-effective, and most importantly account for the needs of customers.

—John Bozzella, President and CEO, Global Automakers

In February, The Auto Alliance sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting that the US Environmental Protection Agency withdraw the Final Determination on the Appropriateness of the Model Year 2022-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards under the Midterm Evaluation—citing similar objections to those of Global Automakers. (Earlier post.)

EPA’s failure to act in coordination with NHTSA also casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of EPA’s data and conclusions, given the substantial discrepancies between EPA’s and NHTSA’s analysis of the technologies and the costs associated with the MY 2022-2025 standards.

…The Alliance is not asking EPA to make a different Final Determination at this time. All we are asking is that EPA withdraw the Final Determination and resume the Midterm Evaluation, in conjunction with NHTSA, consistent with the timetable embodied in EPA’s own regulations.

—Alliance letter to Administrator Pruitt

Reconsidering the Final Determination. In the Notice of Intention to Reconsider, the EPA and NHTSA noted that:

Given that CO2 makes up the vast majority of the GHGs that EPA regulates under section 202(a), and given that the technologies available for regulating CO2 emissions do so by improving fuel economy (which NHTSA regulates under EPCA/EISA), NHTSA’s views with regard to what CAFE standards would be maximum feasible for those model years is an appropriate consideration in EPA’s determining what GHG standards would be appropriate under the CAA. … However, NHTSA has not yet considered what CAFE standards would be the maximum feasible standards for MYs 2022-2025. Accordingly, EPA has concluded that it is appropriate to reconsider its Final Determination in order to allow additional consultation and coordination with NHTSA in support of a national harmonized program.

For its part, NHTSA will continue to engage with stakeholders as it works to develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to set CAFE standards for MYs 2022-2025. As explained in the 2012 final rule, this proposal will be part of “a de novo rulemaking conducted … with fresh inputs and a fresh consideration and balancing of all relevant factors, based on the best and most current information before the agency at that time.”

—Notice of Intention to Reconsider

As a part of this process, EPA will examine a wide range of factors, such as developments in powertrain technology, vehicle electrification, light-weighting and vehicle safety impacts, the penetration of fuel efficient technologies in the marketplace, consumer acceptance of fuel efficient technologies, trends in fuel prices and the vehicle fleet, employment impacts, and many others.

Resources

March 15, 2017 in Climate Change, Emissions, Regulations | Permalink | Comments (8)

Comments

Remove all these stupid regulations put there by Obama and the world bank and revive the free market where we can buy gasoline without carbon taxes. Efficiencies are there by the free market that's why there is almost no hybrid and evs on the roads, peoples rejected these lemons.

Gorr

An unregulated market only acts out of its self interest. Someone must come in and set rules for good common behaviour. Other it is Katy bar the door and the environment be damned. The government helps the market to achieve the next step of the market resolving a serious issue like, GLOBAL WARMING.

Like clean coal, there is no such thing as a free market; that is a political term dreamed up by politicians, mostly Republicans I suspect, to counter unwanted regulations and to confuse uninformed people.

In our Capitalistic U.S., companies seek to control their markets and dominate them as they strive for wealth and power. The best example is the oil and gas business which has for decades received billions in subsides and favorable legislation from politicians in exchange for campaign contributions and favors. The argument for a free market ignores the reality that people are by nature basically greedy; that's why they must be limited by authority...Laws if you will.

The action by Trump and the Republicans against the EPA is nothing more than the fossil fuel industry attempting to regain control of the energy business by dictating direction through the current 'bought administration.' And, the effect will be to continue using fossil fuels longer, polluting the Planet, killing more children through fossil fuel toxins, delaying the innovation of the Sciences and the progress of clean energy and yes, electric cars.

Rump is the deal guy, so look to something in return for relaxed standards.

The really right thing to do would be to impose a carbon tax that was high enough so that the market would force the higher mileage standard but that is not likely to happen especially now.

So the only thing left to do is "Sue the Bastards" (Trump and friends).

Rump is cutting from EPA, Medical and Tech research to spend (waste) even MORE at the Pentagon. We spend more on military than the next SEVEN countries combined. We spend more than China, Russia, Japan, U.K. France and Germany COMBINED.

This is stupid. While relaxing standards US OEMs will definitively become technology laggards against Japanese Germans and even Chinese. That gonna be the end of US auto industry.

The "US" OEMs are essentailly worldwide companies that design and sell in Europe and elsewhere and will continue to develop higher mileage vehicles including electrified powertrain vehicles of many types. The current CAFE standards through 2021 will be rather challenging for gasoline powertrain vehicles. Sedans can meet the standard (a few do already) with Vans, SUVs and trucks having a greater challenge. If the 2022-2025 standards remain intact we should see a very significant rise in electrified powertrains.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2017 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group