NHTSA proposes to withdraw its portions of Trump SAFE rule; enabling states to set GHG standards and ZEV mandates
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed to withdraw its portions of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule issued under the Trump Administration (earlier post), which, among other things, sought to preempt states, including California, from issuing their own greenhouse gas emissions standards and zero-emissions vehicle mandates.
The regulatory action proposes withdrawing NHTSA’s regulations and legal analysis regarding preemption under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. NHTSA is seeking comment on whether the SAFE I Rule, which was finalized in 2019, fell beyond the Agency’s statutory authority by purporting to impose broad preemption requirements.
If finalized, the action would wipe clean the regulatory slate. NHTSA’s actions in the SAFE I Rule would no longer be a potential barrier to states implementing their own greenhouse gas and zero-emissions vehicle regulations.
Comparable action from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to follow.