WASHINGTON Feb 21 A trade association
representing General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp
, Volkswagen AG and nine other automakers on
Tuesday asked new Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott
Pruitt to withdraw an Obama administration decision to lock in
vehicle emission rules through 2025.
On Jan. 13, then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized a
determination that landmark fuel efficiency rules instituted by
President Barack Obama should be finalized through 2025, a bid
to maintain a key part of his administration's climate legacy.
Mitch Bainwol, president and chief executive of the Alliance
of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a letter to Pruitt the
decision was "the product of egregious procedural and
substantive defects" and is "riddled with indefensible
assumptions, inadequate analysis and a failure to engage with
Automakers have argued that the rules could result in the
loss of up to 1 million jobs because consumers could be less
willing to buy the more fuel efficient vehicles since their
engineering will result in higher price tags.
The EPA had until April 2018 to decide whether the 2025
standards were feasible but in November moved up its decision to
Jan. 13, just before Obama left office.
EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said the agency is reviewing
the letter and declined to comment further. Pruitt told a Senate
panel earlier he will review the Obama administration's
Bainwol's request follows a separate letter to President
Donald Trump earlier this month from the chief executives of GM,
Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, along with the
top North American executives at Toyota, VW, Honda Motor Co
, Hyundai Motor Co Nissan Motor Co
and others urging Trump to revisit the decision.
Automakers say the rules impose significant costs and are
out of step with consumer preferences. Environmentalists say the
rules are working, saving drivers thousands in fuel costs and
should not be changed.
In 2011, Obama announced an agreement with automakers to
raise fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon. This,
the administration said, would save motorists $1.7 trillion in
fuel costs over the life of the vehicles but cost the auto
industry about $200 billion over 13 years.
The EPA said in July that because Americans were buying
fewer cars and more SUVs and trucks, it estimated the fleet will
average 50.8 mpg to 52.6 mpg in 2025.
McCarthy could not immediately be reached Tuesday but said
in her determination in January the rules are "feasible,
practical and appropriate" and in "the best interests of the
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)