US automakers revoke promises on cleaner cars and fuel following Trump administration’s policy rollbacks

  • The Trump administration has seemingly given way for automakers in the US to go back on their promises of clean cars and fuel.
  • An analysis regarding the recent policy rollbacks by the EPA about greenhouse gas emissions could worsen the CO2 emission by 13 percent by 2035.
  • Only California and its state allies are holding the line with their state rights to set their own carbon emission limits.

What seemed to be a progressing clean and green policy drive for the United States (US) has just been broken by the biggest automakers and car manufacturers in the country. Now, it seems the climate for social and environmental change has shifted based on the political climate of the US.

It seems the automakers from the US have taken advantage of current US President Donald Trump and his seemingly less environment-friendly policies regarding clean fuel and carbon emission standards. It can be recalled that Trump, fresh from his election win back in 2016, actually filed a request to review the vehicle fuel efficiency standards.

Soon after this request, Trump’s new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt immediately agreed to the automakers’ request, which involves the negation of the Obama administration’s 11th-hour regulation for greenhouse gas emissions for vehicles in the US. Basically, a lot of the progress and changes for clean and green automobiles in the US has been nullified soon after Trump sat in power.

Right now, the state which is most active in undoing most of the policies they agreed to back in Obama’s administration is Detroit which is now reportedly seeking to go back on its promises of carbon-cutting fuel efficiency targets. Other states may as well follow depending on the governors and how much they value the fuel and carbon emissions regulations which have been put in place.

California makes a stand

This particular chain of events and administrative rollbacks are certainly not welcome by the state of California. It can be recalled that a month ago, California, along with 16 other states have sued the Trump administration for such policy rollbacks. Most notable, of course, is the leadership of California in such matters, even in the past where the state has fought to reduce vehicular pollution.


California does have its own right as a state to set its own emission limits based on the Clean Air Act. It can be recalled that 12 other states also follow California’s adherence to this Act and can even be viewed as a show of solidarity for environmental advocacies and drives.

However, the administration going the extra mile to remove California’s authority on its own car’s emission standards may prove troublesome. This policy is already being drafted in the current administration, though it remains to be seen how or when it will push through.

Regardless, it seems that California is not backing down without a fight and will surely make it hard for the Trump administration to undo what the state worked on for decades for a cleaner and greener environment.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

An analysis from John M. DeCicco, a research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute, as suggested that technology being limited at the time in order to follow such environment-friendly carbon emission and fuel standards does not have any logical merit. With this in mind, his analysis pointed out the lack of political will from authorities and administrations to impose certain environmental standards for the protection of the environment and its population.

Additionally, the auto industry agreeing to the Obama administration’s fuel and emission standard policies may have been a reluctant move. While many automakers in the US have agreed and even advocated cleaner and greener standards, one of their popular choices for front groups is the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) which led Trump’s EPA transition team and was actually against greenhouse gas standards. This means the allegiances of automakers in environmental matters could be questionable at best due to their associations.

Regardless, the projected damage of this greenhouse gas standards policy rollback in the worst-case scenario has been measured in at 13 percent greater than the 771 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2035. That is quite a big number just because of a policy rollback and is a considerable cause for concern when it comes to the health of the environment.

It is up to the likes of states like California and the others concerned for the environment to fight for a cleaner environment, this time by trying to retain fuel and emission standards policy. Right now, California and its allies in the fight for environmental policies might be the last line before the planet experiences more damage due to vehicular pollution.

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