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EPA, NHTSA issue One National Program Rule; EPA withdraws CA waiver for GHG and fuel economy

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final action entitled the “One National Program Rule,” which will enable the federal government to provide nationwide uniform fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles and light duty trucks.

The action finalizes parts of the SAFE Vehicles Rule that was first proposed on 2 August 2018. (Earlier post.) This action is based on the premise that federal law preempts state and local tailpipe greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards as well as zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandates.

Specifically, in this action, NHTSA is affirming that its statutory authority to set nationally applicable fuel economy standards under the express preemption provisions of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) dictates that such state and local programs are preempted.

For its part, EPA is withdrawing the Clean Air Act preemption waiver it granted to the State of California in January 2013 as it relates to California’s GHG and ZEV programs. California’s ability to enforce its Low Emission Vehicle program and other clean air standards to address harmful smog-forming vehicle emissions—i.e., criteria pollutants—is not affected by the action.

EPA said that the legal basis for withdrawing the California waiver is under CAA section 209(b)(1)(B), which covers compelling and extraordinary conditions. EPA finds that California does not need its GHG and ZEV standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions because:

  • Those standards address environmental problems that are not particular or unique to California (an argument adduced by the Bush administration’s EPA when it denied California’s waiver request in 2007, earlier post); and

  • That are not caused by emissions or other factors particular or unique to California and for which the standards will not provide any remedy particular or unique to California.

  • The California waiver authority exists because California has uniquely difficult problems with ozone-forming pollutants. The California waiver authority does not exist to allow California to address national and global issues such as climate change.

The agencies continue to work together to finalize the remaining portions of the SAFE Vehicles Rule, to address proposed revisions to the federal fuel economy and GHG vehicle emissions standards.

The action will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.



The L.A. basin has unique atmospheric characteristics,
with millions of tailpipes they need clean cars.


It seems that the Coal, Gas, Oil and ICEVs/CPPs/NGPPs industries are winning again?


It seems unlikely that this will get resolved in the courts before Jan 2021, but even if it does and the CARB states lose, they just have to make it clear to the auto industry that there will be a set of you-pollute-you-pay policies in place designed to dramatically curtail sales, registration and even operating such vehicles within the CARB states.
A $10,000 initial registration fee with ongoing $1000 annual renewal fee should do it. Plus no HOV access. These fees must be detailed in any bill of sale or invoice with the name “you-pollute-you-pay fee”.
All fees raised go to funds designed to encourage cleaner cars (EVs and good hybrids) including reduced registration fees, home charger subsidies, even workplace and public charging station subsidies. Also renewables and grid storage.

After all, it’s all about state’s rights. Wasn’t that the GOP mantra 4 years ago?


This is an incredibly stupid policy as what business really hates is uncertainty and the auto industry was already working on meeting the new standards. Now it be tied up in the courts causing more uncertainty. But chaos seems to be the norm for the Trump administration.


The us auto industry will lose, if the oil industry wins. You will end up with a system where cars made in the us couldn't be sold in Europe, or China.
This while european and chinese cars could.

Also, the technology on how to make non / low polluting cars will end up in Europe and/or China.

And all car makers that have old and crappy technology, are going to sell there cars to the us.


Hear here!!!


USA and Canada are certainly going backward and/or not moving forward enough with transport vehicles electrification and use of more advanced REs to replace current CPPs and older NPPs.

The North American Big 3 car (mostly ICEVs) manufacturers may run themselves out of business by 2030/2050.


What else other than chaos can be expected from an FBI?

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