CARB Faces Off Against Trump’s EPA Over MPG Rules

California’s Air Resource Board, or, “CARB”, has been driving automotive policy for decades. CARB has also been a driving force in the mainstream adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles, too, by forcing manufacturers to offer EVs in order to sell more profitable trucks and SUVs in the prosperous state. That kind of regulation over what a company can and can’t sell doesn’t sit well with our current administration, however, and they’re pushing for laws that will maintain one single set of national requirements for all automakers.

If the Trump administration is successful in implementing that single, federal-level law over the states, it will not only go against one of the most closely-held tenets of the Republican party (states’ rights v. federal rights), it will also determine the fate of vehicle emissions rules for the foreseeable future. And, like, not in an awesome way.

A December 15th meeting held in California included William Wehrum, head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration deputy chief Heidi King, and Mike Catanzaro, a senior White House aide on environment and energy issues, a spokesman for CARB confirmed on Monday. The group wants California to change its rules to address (currently) lower gas prices and what they are calling “a shift in US consumer preferences” to larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles. Larger, less fuel-efficient, lower-tech vehicles that, it should be noted, are the most profitable segment for US automakers.

 

California and CARB are Standing Firm

For its part, California seems to be standing firm along with nearly a dozen other states. As a group, these states plan to enforce their own, stricter emissions and fuel economy rules. Those rules might even include an all-out ban on internal combustion vehicle sales after 2040. A move which, you know, might show the Trump EPA that they should have just stuck with Obama’s 2011 56.5 MPG CAFE mandate for 2025 and called it a day.

Here’s hoping the people California kick Trump in the dick hold their ground and keep driving electric vehicle innovation for years to come, regardless of what kind of cash grab the EPA and some major US automakers are hoping for.

What about you guys? Are you hoping California’s CARB is successful in holding back the Trump EPA? Do you want to get banned from posting comments on Gas 2? Put on your flame suits and head to the bottom of the page- let’s see what happens!

 

Source | Images: Automotive News, original art from Gas 2.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.