EPA chief: US needs a single standard for fuel efficiency

July 24, 2018 - 6:45 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that the United States needs a single standard for fuel efficiency in cars and trucks, setting up a showdown with California and other states that could throw the car market into turmoil.

Andrew Wheeler spoke to a small group of reporters at EPA headquarters, ahead of a Trump administration proposal that's expected to freeze some Obama-era mileage goals. The Trump administration also has said it's looking at challenging California's authority to set its own, tougher mileage standards.

"What we don't want to see is two different standards for the country," Wheeler said, calling for a "50-state solution" to disputes over mileage standards.

A program for steadily increasing fuel efficiency rules was a key part of the Obama administration's effort against climate-changing emissions from fossil fuel.

California has had the authority under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own, tougher mileage standards, with a special rule allowing the state to curb its chronic smog problem. More than a dozen states also follow California's standards, making for a significant part of the country's car market.

Wheeler said he was committed to sitting down with California officials after the Trump administration releases its proposals, expected as soon as this week.

"We certainly want to work with the state of California to make sure they're comfortable with the direction the government wants to go," he said.

AP Editorial Categories: