EPA Stories September 28

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • GM endorses the EPA’s stricter emissions rule, and 22 states say it’s not enough.
  • The US energy secretary details how the country can achieve a more resilient power system.
  • Sri Lanka will stop building coal plants, aims to be net zero by 2050.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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EPA Stories June 23

The upcoming Mustang Mach-E GT
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Ford’s performance SUV EV has a very large battery at 88 kWh. But with those bigger motors and sporty tires, will the Mustang Mach-E GT and Mach-E Performance retain its ability to go on long drives?

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EPA Stories June 11

Porsche's Taycan Cross Turismo
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Probably the biggest concern with Porsche’s Taycan is the car’s seemingly low EPA range, especially compared to other EVs in its class. We had a chance to review the bigger, off-road Cross Turismo variant last month and came away thinking that Porsche would be less conservative with its EPA range estimates this time around. We were right but only slightly…

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EPA Stories April 26

EPA acknowledges federal law, drops trump’s illegal attempt to block California clean air

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Monday that it is “reconsidering the previous administration’s withdrawal of California’s waiver to enforce greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks.”

EPA Stories February 2

All automakers have dropped support for a lawsuit that threatened California’s long-held legal ability to set its own emissions rules, as reported by Reuters.

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EPA Stories December 17, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) for secretary of the interior and Michael S. Regan as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Haaland (pictured above left) will be the first Native American cabinet secretary and head of the Department of the Interior. Regan (pictured above right) will be the first Black man to head the EPA. Both appointments will need to be confirmed.

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EPA Stories November 10, 2020

After four years of being filled by such industry mouthpieces as corrupt oil stooge Scott Pruitt and lying dirty coal advocate Andrew Wheeler, it looks like the Environmental Protection Agency is set to resume its actual purpose of protecting the environment come Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

While Biden’s selection for EPA head has not yet been announced, one name that should be familiar to electric car enthusiasts is reportedly on the short list: Mary Nichols, head of California’s Clean Air Resources Board (CARB).

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EPA Stories September 29, 2020

The head of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Andrew Wheeler mocked and threatened to block California’s recently announced plan to phase out gas-powered cars.

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EPA Stories July 15, 2020

On January 9, Donald Trump announced there would be an overhaul of the US’ landmark environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Today, he finalized a rollback of the NEPA.

This drastically limits the ability of citizens and communities to learn about and give input on major infrastructure projects that could threaten public health and the environment.

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EPA Stories June 2, 2020

The Trump administration has eliminated states’ and tribes’ rights to halt projects that risk hurting their water quality by rolling back a section of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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EPA Stories May 1, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier this week claimed that the “Long Range Plus” version of the Model S was robbed of achieving a 400-mile range rating by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the Q1 earnings call, Musk said that the EPA left the car’s door open and the key inside when stopping during range testing, resulting in the car losing 2% of battery capacity. The EPA now refutes Musk’s claim.

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EPA Stories April 16, 2020

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is not “appropriate and necessary” to regulate emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

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EPA Stories April 15, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday that it will not work to lower levels of particulate matter, thus not further reducing air pollution, despite the recommendations of its own scientists to do so.

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EPA Stories April 8, 2020

On February 29, Electrek reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had finalized a rule that eliminated leak prevention and repair requirements for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the heat-trapping pollutants used in commercial and industrial refrigeration.

Yesterday, a federal court struck down the EPA’s rollback of the greenhouse-gas-leak prevention rule. The court said that the Trump administration did not follow proper procedure.

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EPA Stories April 7, 2020

As Electrek reported on March 27, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a suspension of the enforcement of environmental rules, saying it “will generally not seek stipulated or other penalties for noncompliance with such obligations” during the coronavirus outbreak. There is no end date for this policy.

The coronavirus attacks lungs, often causing pneumonia, and severely impedes the ability of those with more severe cases to breathe. Air pollution also harms lungs. So now, the senators from Massachusetts want explanations for the EPA’s decision.

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EPA Stories March 31, 2020

Andrew Wheeler, head of the Environmental “Protection” Agency (EPA), argued today that his administration’s rollback of auto efficiency standards “sets realistic standards, will reduce pollution, and save lives.”

The problem is, he’s objectively wrong on all three counts. And in his statement, he also proved that he doesn’t even know the name of the regulation he’s attempting to undermine.

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EPA Stories March 27, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a suspension of the enforcement of environmental rules on Thursday, saying it “will generally not seek stipulated or other penalties for noncompliance with such obligations” during the coronavirus outbreak.

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EPA Stories March 5, 2020

Donald Trump has nominated Nancy B. Beck to head up the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an independent federal agency responsible for — as the title says — consumer product safety.

For more than five years, Beck was a senior director at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the chemical industry’s main lobbying group. She then joined the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in May 2017 as deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and was promoted to principal deputy assistant administrator in December 2018.

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EPA Stories March 2, 2020

EPA head couldn’t care less that Trump wants to cut his agency’s budget

EPA head Andrew Wheeler defended the budget cuts last Thursday in front of lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

EPA Stories February 19, 2020

Mandy Gunasekara, the self-proclaimed “chief architect of the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord,” is tipped to replace Ryan Jackson, the EPA’s chief of staff, who will step down on February 21. (Michael Molina will be acting chief of staff.) Jackson is to become the top lobbyist for the National Mining Association (yes, really).

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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • More towns and cities are buying electricity in bulk — it’s called community choice aggregation.
  • Startup Notpla makes edible, biodegradable pods for beverages and sauces that replace plastic.
  • Fossil-fuel advocate Mandy Gunasekara is tipped to become the next EPA chief of staff.

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EPA Stories November 22, 2019

Mayor of Texas chemical blast town on latest EPA deregulation: ‘They have a short memory’

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday that they were ending regulations that require chemical plants to provide the public with information about potential risks.

EPA Stories October 31, 2019

Toyota, GM, and FCA have been getting a lot of flack the last couple days, in response to their move to join the EPA in opposing better MPG standards against the interests of consumers and the environment.

Toyota responded to this public outcry by claiming that it wants “continuous, year-over-year improvements in fuel economy,” but there’s one problem with that: Their fleet average MPG is actually getting worse over time, unlike every other automaker.

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EPA Stories October 29, 2019

In the latest move in the EPA’s fight against California over clean air, several automakers including Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, and Toyota have come out on the side of more pollution and more death, as reported late Monday by the New York Times.  These automakers have cast their lot in with the fossil fuel interests running the Trump administration and their efforts which will kill Americans and cost them money via an ill-considered fuel efficiency rollback.

We’ve written before about how this move is bad for business, consumers, and the environment and is quite likely a losing battle for the federal government anyway.  The only group which seems likely to benefit from this on a high level is the fossil fuel industry – a group that seems to be the animating force behind these actions.

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EPA Stories October 23, 2019

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit claiming that California’s carbon emissions agreement with Quebec violates the US Constitution.

The problem is, the legal arguments the DOJ uses to support its case actually invalidate it — and also invalidate another case the administration is currently fighting against California’s attempts to improve air quality.

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EPA Stories September 26, 2019

After last week’s moves to force more pollution and lower clean air standards on California, the Environmental “Protection” Agency threatened this week to pull California’s federal highway funding if California doesn’t bow to their pressure and allow more pollution in their state.

We’ve now learned that two states – Minnesota and New Mexico – will join California’s efforts to reduce tailpipe emissions in response to the EPA’s actions. Both states plan to adopt both California’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate and its tailpipe emissions standards.

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EPA Stories September 20, 2019

On Thursday, the Environmental “Protection” Agency moved to revoke California’s authority to set higher emissions standards, established more than 50 years ago under the federal Clean Air Act, after signaling the move earlier in the week.

The EPA’s announcement stated that their main focus was to set a unified, national rule for fuel efficiency standards. However, there was already a unified, national rule for fuel efficiency standards in place under President Barack Obama until the EPA repealed that rule earlier this year, causing regulatory uncertainty for automakers who opposed the repeal.

California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) reacted to this news by voting 12-0 to accept an agreement made between the state and automakers to voluntarily exceed federal emissions standards, roughly meeting the previous national standard in defiance of the federal rollback.

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EPA Stories September 18, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to revoke California’s authority to set its own emissions rules, a right enshrined in federal law that California has had for over 50 years. We recently covered why the EPA will have a hard time winning this fight.

In a move that seems to come straight out of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, the administration has applied the acronym “SAFE” to their effort. This stands for, if you can believe it, “Safe and Affordable Fuel Efficient vehicles.”

The problem is that this rule is neither about safety, affordability, or fuel efficiency.  And we need look no further than the EPA’s own analysis, and statements from its former career scientists, to show this.

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EPA Stories September 17, 2019

In the latest step in the Environmental “Protection” Agency’s (EPA) losing battle against clean air and clean cars, the agency plans to announce a revocation of California’s well-established authority to regulate vehicle emissions tomorrow, reports Automotive News.

This move is no surprise, as ever since oil industry pawn Scott Pruitt was nominated as head of the EPA (later replaced by coal stooge Andrew Wheeler), the agency has been signaling its intent to revoke California’s ability to set its own emissions standards.

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EPA Stories September 6, 2019

We’ve been covering the developments in the fuel economy/emissions fight between the Environmental “Protection” Agency (previously run by an oil stooge, now run by a coal lobbyist, and staffed by commissioners who wrongly think air pollution isn’t harmful) and the environment they claim to protect, and today we’ve heard another doozy from the federal government.

After automakers made an agreement with California to voluntarily have higher standards than required by the EPA and thus save consumers money and improve health, the Department of Justice is now investigating those automakers under antitrust laws, seemingly with no legal justification other than anger over the embarrassment this has caused to their boss who considers himself a “dealmaker” and yet has failed to make a deal.

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EPA Stories July 9, 2019

As the Trump administration prepares to unveil its finalized fuel economy rollback, more states than ever are seeking an end to the proposal, as 24 governors have signed a pledge asking the federal government not to weaken fuel standards.

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EPA Stories July 3, 2019

In the ongoing saga of the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back fuel economy standards, it’s been known that automakers sought to ease the rising MPG requirements set by the Obama administration. But a new report reveals how a number of climate change deniers injected themselves into the conversation, pushing the administration to go “much further” than planned.

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EPA Stories June 19, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency, failing in their sole duty to protect the environment, has moved ahead with its plans to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, as EPA Administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler signed the final so-called “Affordable Clean Energy” rule into effect today.

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EPA Stories June 17, 2019

As the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration prepare to unveil the planned rollback of fuel economy standards soon, major investors in auto companies are the latest group to publicly voice their concerns about the proposal.

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EPA Stories June 6, 2019

Automakers have sent another letter to the governments of the US and California regarding upcoming fuel economy rules, asking the EPA to stop a planned fuel economy rollback, the New York Times reports.

Currently, the EPA and DOT are finalizing a rollback of fuel economy standards, which is expected to go into place soon despite challenges by California and the 13 “CARB states” that follow California Air Resources Board rules.  If implemented, the plan would likely split the US auto market and cause nightmares for automakers – at least those that sell polluting cars.

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EPA Stories April 24, 2019

A new report shows air pollution is getting worse in the US, and the current EPA’s efforts to weaken emissions regulations on cars and power plants are seen as a major threat to improving the state of affairs.

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EPA Stories April 11, 2019

The Trump administration has “settled on the key details” of its plan to roll back fuel economy standards, according to a new report. And automakers are now preparing for a future where some states purposely follow stricter rules than others.

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EPA Stories March 29, 2019

Members of an Environmental Protection Agency panel “questioned” the well-established link between air pollution and premature death during a recent hearing, and one of those members has drawn criticism in the past for the funding behind his own pollution research.

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EPA Stories August 2, 2018

Following almost two years of negotiations with the auto industry and other stakeholders, the EPA has officially proposed to freeze fuel economy standards, which could slow down electric vehicle adoption. expand full story

EPA Stories July 5, 2018

Today, in response to the myriad of self-induced scandals which have plagued him ever since he took the job, Scott Pruitt resigned his position as chief saboteur Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

He will be replaced by Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler as acting administrator, a former coal lobbyist who worked with Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray; was an aide for Jim Inhofe, the top climate science denier in the Senate; and who helped craft the Bush administration’s ironically-named “Clear Skies” initiative, an effort to destroy the Clean Air Act.

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EPA Stories June 19, 2018

Today, in response to the EPA’s recent rollback of agreed-upon 2022-2025 fuel efficiency standards, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado issued an executive order for his state to develop a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard similar to California’s current standard.  The executive order explicitly calls out California as a model, and notes the twelve other US states which have adopted similar programs.

Gov. Hickenlooper previously issued an executive order in 2017 for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% by 2025.  Today’s order is one step towards that goal.

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EPA Stories May 1, 2018

In the wake of the EPA’s move last month to eliminate federal fuel efficiency standards for 2022-2025 model year cars, California has filed a lawsuit against the EPA to stop the move from happening.  The lawsuit was filed today with California Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the California Air Resources Board as plaintiffs, with 17 other states joining in.

In total, the states filing the lawsuit represent 140 million Americans and about 43% of the country’s car market.

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EPA Stories April 23, 2018

A federal court ruled today that the Department of Transportation must implement a new, inflation-adjusted fine for failure to comply with federal fuel efficiency standards.

This ruling confirms that automakers will have to pay the full, updated fine for failing to meet efficiency standards.  The Department of Transportation’s attempted rule would have let them pay less than 40% of the legally required fine.

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EPA Stories March 14, 2018

Trump’s embattled EPA head Scott Pruitt has come down on the side of polluters on just about every issue that faces the US, so it is with little surprise that in a recent interview he signaled that he may try to fight back against California’s fuel economy requirements.

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EPA Stories March 12, 2018

In a live podcast recorded on stage at SXSW, California’s former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told Politico that he is in talks with several private law firms to sue the oil industry for what he calls “first degree murder.”

Schwarzenegger alleges that because the oil industry has known since 1959 about the climate and health damage their products cause, they should be held liable for that damage. “I don’t think there’s any difference,” says Schwarzenegger, “If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first degree murder; I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.”

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EPA Stories October 10, 2017

Industry pawn Scott Pruitt, posing as the administrator of the “Environmental Protection” Agency, announced yesterday that he will end implementation of the Clean Power Plan, a course of action which will cause an additional 3,600 deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks and 300,000 missed days of work or school per year, according to his agency’s own estimates. Pruitt also suggested that solar and wind subsidies should be cut, but failed to propose ending any part of the $5.3 trillion annual global subsidy received by the large, polluting fossil fuel industry which has underwritten his political career.

Pruitt’s “reasoning” for these changes is because he does not want the government to “pick winners and losers.” But, apparently, he is fine with government picking winners as long as it’s the same historically-winning fossil industry (with 4 of the top 10 companies by revenue worldwide) which has been bribing him to do their work for decades. And he’s fine with picking losers as long as it’s the industry which he continues to quixotically fight against in his quest to eliminate green energy and worsen public health. However, the only loser in this quest will be him.

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EPA Stories October 9, 2017

In a time where a surprising number of major automakers are announcing that they believe electric cars are the future of the auto industry, we are still seeing them complaining about, and in some cases lobbying against, the fuel emission standards.

Now trade groups representing virtually the entire auto industry are again putting pressure on U.S. regulators to weaken rules that would force them to produce more electric cars. expand full story

EPA Stories April 4, 2017

EPA emissions testing lab AP photo

The White House’s proposed EPA budget cuts nearly all of the Agency’s funding for vehicle emissions testing, as reported by Reuters.  The proposed cuts to the EPA’s budget would remove 99 percent of the agency’s $48 million in funding for vehicle testing, expecting automakers to pay increased fees to make up the difference.  But according to Margo Oge, former head of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, the proposed budget would require “pretty much shutting down the testing lab.”

We have a recent example of why this is a very bad idea.  In 2015, it was discovered that Volkswagen had been cheating on emissions tests in the US and Europe for years, installing cheat devices on their diesel cars to emit up to 40 times the allowable amount of some toxic pollutants. The scandal came to be known as “Dieselgate,” and a recent MIT study found that VW’s emissions cheating would likely result in 1,200 premature deaths in Europe alone.  This deceit was uncovered by a small lab in West Virginia and the data was turned over to the EPA and CARB for enforcement. Fiat Chrysler and Mitsubishi have also been implicated in similar emissions cheating schemes, and Daimler is currently under scrutiny.

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