EPA Stories March 14

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

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

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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EPA Stories March 27, 2017

Just a few days ago we reported on the significant economic benefits the world will gain from the completion of the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Agreement, decided upon in 2015 and gradually signed and put into effect over the course of the last year, is a really big deal.  It could have been better, with more firm goals and specific milestones, but it’s a first in that it has been signed by 192 countries representing 99.21% of global CO2 emissions, pledging to keep global warming “well below 2ºC.”  The signatories to the Agreement include, most importantly, the world’s three largest emitters: the US, China, and India.

But yesterday on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, EPA-chief-and-oil-industry-talking-point-spouting-robot Scott Pruitt claimed that the Paris Agreement is a “bad deal” and that “China and India, the largest producers of [carbon dioxide] internationally, got away scot-free.”

The problem with that last statement is that, like much of what Pruitt says, it is demonstrably false.  And the person whose job it is to administer and implement these agreements ought to know it.

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EPA Stories March 25, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted unanimously to continue implementing higher emissions standards in their meeting on Friday.  This sets California’s clean-air agency up for a fight against the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which recently signaled that they aren’t too interested in doing their job of actually protecting the environment.

The emissions rules require automakers to average 54.5mpg (by the less stringent CAFE standard) over all new vehicles by 2025.

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EPA Stories March 23, 2017

Today, Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency appointed by President Donald Trump, penned a new opinion piece published in USA Today. In the piece, he seemed more worried about making sure U.S. automakers don’t have to invest $200 billion in electric vehicles and more efficient cars than the impact on the environment. expand full story

EPA Stories March 15, 2017

As expected for the past few weeks and after months of lobbying from automakers since Donald Trump was elected, the EPA has confirmed that they will review the fuel consumption rules and decide on whether or not to modify them by April 1, 2018.

Trump made the announcement with new EPA Chief Scott Pruitt and a handful of automotive executives, like GM CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Mark Fields, who have both being calling for the EPA to walk back to strict rules. expand full story

EPA Stories March 6, 2017

Back in 2012, the Obama administration came to an agreement with US-based automakers to accelerate the industry’s transition to more efficient propulsion systems. They agreed that each automaker should reach a fleet average of 54 mpg by 2025. That would mean for them to produce more efficient gas-powered cars and electric vehicles in order to compensate for their trucks and SUVs.

The EPA reviewed the standard in January before Donald Trump took over and decided to maintain it. But as we recently reported, the automakers have since asked Trump to roll back the requirements and now they are reportedly about to get their way. expand full story

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