Trump EPA Roll-Back of Greenhouse Gas Regulations, Delayed or Derailed? @CoralMDavenport @NYT

Mar 08, 2017, 05:12 AM

03-07-2017 (Photo: World leaders pose for a group photo at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 (AP)) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules http://johnbatchelorshow.com/blog Twitter: @BatchelorShow

Trump EPA Roll-Back of Greenhouse Gas Regulations, Delayed or Derailed? @CoralMDavenport @NYT

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming, according to people familiar with the matter, essentially marking a U-turn to efforts to force the American auto industry to produce more electric cars. The announcement — which is expected as soon as Tuesday and will be made jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao — will immediately start to undo one of former President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental legacies. During the same week, and possibly on the same day, Mr. Trump is expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin the more lengthy and legally complex process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s rules to cut planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants. The regulatory rollback on vehicle pollution will relax restrictions on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and will not require action by Congress. It will also have a major effect on the United States auto industry. Under the Obama administration’s vehicle fuel economy standards, American automakers were locked into nearly a decade of trying to design and build ever more sophisticated fuel-efficient vehicles, including electric and hybrid models. The nation’s largest auto companies told Mr. Trump last month that they found those technical requirements too burdensome. The E.P.A. will also begin legal proceedings to revoke a waiver for California that was allowing the state to enforce the tougher tailpipe standards for its drivers. E.P.A. officials did not respond to emails requesting comment on the move. On Feb. 21, a coalition of the 17 largest companies that sell cars in the United States sent two letters to Mr. Pruitt, asking him to revisit the tailpipe rules. They said it may be “the single most important decision the E.P.A. has made in recent history.” They complained about the steep technical challenge posed by the stringent standard, noting that only about 3.5 percent of new vehicles are able to reach it. That even excludes some hybrid cars, plug-in electric cars and fuel cell vehicles, the automakers wrote. “Even today, no conventional vehicle today meets that target.

“…Asked during his Senate confirmation hearing about the Paris accord, Mr. Tillerson said, “It’s important that the U.S. maintains its seat at the table about how to address the threat of climate change, which does require a global response.” Under the Paris agreement, every nation has formally submitted plans detailing how it expects to lower its planet-warming pollution. The Obama administration pledged that the United States would reduce its carbon pollution about 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. However, that pledge depends on enactment of Mr. Obama’s E.P.A. regulations on coal-fired power plants, which Mr. Trump and Mr. Pruitt intend to substantially weaken or eliminate. But under the Paris deal, those numerical targets are not legally binding, and there are no sanctions for failing to meet them. The primary legal requirements of the deal are that countries publicly put forth their emissions reductions targets, and later put forth reports verifying how they are meeting the targets. It would be possible for the Trump administration to stay in the deal and submit a less ambitious target. Even senior Republican voices in the foreign policy debate have said it may be wiser to stay in but keep a low profile. “There’s really no obligation,” Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennesse...