US automakers have been pleading for relief from what they consider burdensome fuel economy rules, but in an odd twist to the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it,” the Trump administration has announced plans to not only loosen those rules but to slash the funding that pays for EPA emissions testing as well.
Marge Oge, President Obama’s former head of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, says the plan represents a 99 percent federal cut to the budget for vehicle emissions testing. It would “pretty much shut down the testing lab,” she said. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has led the call to roll back fuel economy standards but now it finds itself blindsided by the proposed EPA budget. The Trump administration says it wants the automakers to pay most of the cost for the testing program from now on.
Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance said automakers are concerned the proposed cuts could delay timely certification of new vehicles “and getting products to consumers.” How ironic would it be if the budget cuts Trump voters prayed for end up causing the car companies to reduce production because they can’t get their cars certified and into showrooms? Wait for the companies to start screaming that paying for the certification program is unfair to them.
The entire budget proposal would eliminate about a quarter of all EPA jobs and 56 EPA programs, including those involved with pesticide safety, water runoff control, and environmental cooperation with Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Conservatives won’t be happy until America’s rivers are little more than running coal sludge estuaries like they were 50 years ago. Talk about making America great again.
A budget is one thing. Getting Congress to approve it is something else. Americans favor moving forward with environmental protection programs and legislators can expect to get an earful from their constituents when the Trump budget lands in their laps.
Source: Green Car Reports