President-elect Trump’s EPA nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said that he will review the Obama administration’s decision to solidify federal fuel efficiency rules through 2025.
Last Friday, Gina McCarthy, the outgoing EPA Administrator, decided to finalize the fuel efficiency regulations that would require MPGs to be at 50 or greater by 2025.
Her decision comes two weeks (Ludicrous Speed when it comes to government time) after the public comment period closed at the end of December.
We spoke about this a few weeks ago, when after the election, the EPA announced that it wasn’t going to wait until 2018 to make its decision about the regulations and that it wasn’t going to readjust the target MPG.
The announcement surprised the industry and the EPA said the decision had nothing to do with the election results and the possibility of President Obama’s legacy being altered.
What I find the most entertaining is when the EPA Administrator said the regulations are “‘feasible, practical and appropriate and in the best interests of the auto industry.’”
I don’t, by any means, wish to tear down Gina McCarthy’s accomplishments, but last time I checked she has no real experience in the auto industry. Her résumé is lengthy when it comes to environmental advising to government leaders, but she doesn’t exactly have a background in manufacturing, design, engineering or economics. I point that out because with what knowledge then, is she saying with such confidence what the auto industry can do?
To be fair, she isn’t wrong. The auto industry can in fact make vehicles that meet the requirements the EPA set. Of course, you won’t be able to tow anything. You might also only have a two-cylinder vehicle that can only seat two people—sorry kids—and those people might need to be on the light side, and sure it’ll take that 35 hp engine a little longer to get there, and sure, the cost will be higher and you won’t be able to get into a collision with anything larger than say, a chipmunk, but it can be done.
Let’s be honest. No one would buy such a thing. The market says trucks and SUVs and the crossover. Not Smart car. Side note, not even the Smart car can get the MPGs the EPA wants.
While I do think that Mr. Pruitt is right in reviewing the rules and changing them, legally, with due process, I don’t want this to become a tit for tat between Republicans and Democrats. What I hope is that the review is based on good business sense and both sides of the aisle remember to make decisions based on their constituents and not playing the party politics game.
But what do you think?
Lots has been said both for and against the driverless car. We all know how I feel. Be that as it may, I thought this was funny. Click here to see Conan O’Brien’s take on the driverless car future.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.
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