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Officials Scramble To Show Net Benefits From Auto GHG Rule Rollback

Just days before releasing their final rollback of Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, Trump administration officials have been scrambling to show the rule has net positive benefits to society given that recent drafts show the flagship rulemaking would impose greater overall costs than benefits.
Related Story: Final Auto GHG Rollback To Include Various Compliance ‘Flexibilities’

EPA says the coronavirus pandemic is prompting it to retain renewable fuel standard (RFS) waivers already granted to small refiners despite an appellate ruling that will strictly limit future issuance of such exemptions, and the agency is also extending a deadline for introducing less-polluting summertime gasoline because of the virus.

Lower prices for California greenhouse gas allowances on the secondary market due to the coronavirus pandemic are leading some experts to predict reduced credit sales at the next quarterly joint California-Quebec auction scheduled for May, which could significantly reduce revenue for the state to lower GHGs through various programs.

EPA is pledging to exercise “enforcement discretion” if facilities cannot meet certain legal obligations under agency regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic, but environmentalists and the Obama EPA’s enforcement chief fear the temporary plan will become an indefinite “nationwide waiver of environmental rules.”