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California ARB readying regulatory options to maintain state LDV GHG standards in event of Federal change

In April 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025, and determined that the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised. (Earlier post.)

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) GHG standards allow manufacturers the option to comply by meeting the US EPA greenhouse gas standards through model year 2025 as currently defined (referred to as the “deemed to comply” provision). CARB disagrees with the April EPA decision, and may consider amending its regulations to clarify that the deemed to comply provision applies to the current federal GHG standards, should US EPA change the standards for any model years.

Under this approach, CARB would not change any of the regulatory requirements in the LEV III GHG regulation. CARB would, however, take regulatory action as needed to clarify that the compliance with any weakened federal standards will not be deemed compliant with CARB standards for the specified model years.

CARB is soliciting public input on potential alternatives to this amendment.

While CARB believes its regulatory text is clear, CARB is exercising its discretion to seek public input. CARB requests input by 31 May 2018.

Automakers don’t want a fight. Reuters reported that major automakers are telling the Trump administration that they want to reach an agreement with California to avoid a battle over the standards, and support continued increases in stringency.

Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing major automakers, will tell a US House of Representatives panel today that his members “support standards that increase year over year that also are consistent with marketplace realities.


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