Automakers already lobbying Trump to relax emissions standards


Barely two days after his election, US automakers contacted the new president-elect to urge him to “reform” federal regulation of the industry, including fuel economy, emissions, autonomy and safety standards.

In a letter to the Trump transition team (via Automotive News), the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers proposed that the new administration pause the ongoing midterm evaluation of the Obama administration’s 2025 greenhouse rules, among other recommended changes to the industry’s regulatory obligations.

“We live at a moment where technology and change are swamping the regulatory capacity to manage our emerging reality. Reform is imperative,” Alliance CEO Mitch Bainwol said in the letter. “As car prices rise, it becomes vital to look at the full cost of regulatory initiatives. Well-meaning regulatory action risks increasing compliance costs to the point that additional safety and fuel-efficiency technologies put new vehicles out of financial reach of the average new car purchaser.”

The auto industry must comply with regulations from an alphabet soup of government agencies, including the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The letter proposes the creation of a new “presidential advisory committee” to coordinate regulations. In particular, it notes that discrepancies between greenhouse gas rules administered by the EPA and mpg standards overseen by NHTSA have led to unneeded costs and “regulatory friction” that is already driving up vehicle costs.

The 2025 fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules are a cornerstone of President Obama’s efforts to address climate change. Trump has said he believes climate change is a hoax, and has promised a general rollback of environmental regulations.

At least one environmental group has promised to do what it can to resist the tide. “If the Trump Administration seeks to roll back fuel efficiency standards, which are highly popular with the American people and even have been supported by the auto industry, it will find us standing in the way,” said Luke Tonachel of the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Source: Automotive News
Donald Trump Image: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • Lance Pickup

    Too bad this will kill innovation and probably end up causing US automakers (with the exception of Tesla) to fall even further behind the likes of Tesla, and more importantly, Chinese automakers. It won’t be long until we create another automobile powerhouse that we will have to compete with and we’ll be driving Chinese cars around.

    • buzz2320

      Thank you Lance Pickup, I agree in the long run it’s not good for environment or for us. Trump looks at short term profit and has done ludicrously well (property bubbles) old ways most of the CEOs of big companies think and teach old thinking go for easy profit property bubbles consuming more stuff 2008 bank crisis short term financial boost $$$ bigger golden handshakes all round more power to Murdock’s TV Press ect democratising and feeding the old way’s to the mass with bull shit/fear? no thought for our future or the environment. Simple toxic fuel oil gas burned with old cheap tecknolgy profit up! sadly the Chinese already manufacture a lot of consumer rubbish burn a lot of toxic coal/oil doing well! Trump is very clever, needs to start disagreeing with bad and fast China! start building USA war technology making USA great? (Star Wars?) Russia? is a lose cannon they have lots of good old toxic ideas and oil coal toxic he will love President Putin or hate Putin? what do you think? Toxic Trump/Putin/China soap opera will not be dull, has it stirred us up? If allowed Trump/Toxic old school could sent our world back 100 years!..with 7 Billion of us and growing we could see the biggest mass extinction of species like never before? “The Age Of Stupid” It is up to Elon Musk and all other creative thinkers you me and billions to act wake up implement new clear fair tecknolgy we need to start taking control! People from all countries especially China/Russia/USA time for love and using this internet for new exciting management with clean tecknolgy lets make democracy work for us all ?. Thank you Buzz off TOXIC cool save our world we will be all better off with out toxic …..

    • Bob Smith

      Tesla? They are a shell game that wont be around in 12 months….

  • brian_gilbert

    Trump has chosen to move towards driverless vehicles. Morgan Stanley has estimated the annual US savings at $1.3 Trillion per year. There are no known technical problems if the move is to ‘Completely Driverless’ rather than mixed. Those savings are more than sufficient to compensate all those affected badly by the switch. So everyone can be happy with the move. By switching all the vehicles to electric the pollution problems are solved. With all vehicles hired by the trip the number of veicles required drops very sharply so the pollution caused by their manufacture is also eliminated.

    • John Palmerlee

      Brian – Interesting. Please send proof. Trump says things contrary to truth. Will we see him taking ownership of the driverless vehicle idea, and doing it with fossil fuels? Wow

      • brian_gilbert

        Proof? Well I just read it on a newspaper. Perhaps wishful thinking on my part but I would expect him to do something that was going to make it possible to finance other projects.

        • Michael B

          Do you expect him to make America great again? I read that on a hat.

          OTOH, the only surprises that will come from a Drumpf administration will be pleasant surprises, so I won’t write anything off completely.

          • brian_gilbert

            No, the most I expect or at least hope for is that he will recognise the potential of completely driverless roads.

    • Vasu

      wow! you think this can be achieved in 4 year’s of Trump administration? Switching everything to electric wouldn’t solve the pollution problem, where do you think so much electricity is generated? coal! which is more pollution

      • brian_gilbert

        I would expect it to be started with a zone in a suitable part of the atates, then expanded as the bugs were eliminated. Only one tenth of the vehicles are needed as they are hired by the trip. so manufacture would drop by 90% and over half the pollution caused by vehicles is that caused in their manufacture. 3o% of the average journey is wasted finding a place to park so that is another saving. If the USA wants to it will solve the generation problem.

      • ricegf

        The portion of power generated by coal in the USA has been dropping for years and is now under 40%. Wind now fuels more than 15% of ERCOT’s power generation.

        Switching the personal vehicle fleet to shared self-driving electric vehicles recharged from renewable energy and natural gas cuts emissions by more than 80%. This will take a couple of decades to become the norm, as cars typically last a decade, but the tech is already maturing from leaders such as Tesla, GM, and Nissan.

        To learn more, Google “well to wheels study”, “renewable electricity”, and “Tesla autopilot”. 🙂

      • Ramon A. Cardona

        My electric car is primarily recharged from the solar array on my roof. And I am not the only one. Norway generates 98% of power from water. In the USA coal use is decreasing as well.

    • Bob Smith

      Thanks for your input Captain Clueless.

  • x92127

    If relaxing fuel economy and emissions standards becomes reality, VW is going to pissed.

    • Michael B

      Not if VW convinces them to apply retroactively. :-

  • Bob Smith

    That’s a great way to bail out the auto companies. Since they cannot innovate because innovators don’t generally fit into the cookie mold that the HR morons created, we all get to support the auto companies for the rest of our lives. How much do you want to bet that if they cry bankruptcy during the next 4 years, they get it? How much do you want to bet that before Obamcare goes, the 12 years of NO tax on profits that the auto industry received in 2008 goes first? And when will GM pay back the remaining 10 BILLION they owe the taxpayer and when will Ford pay back that 6 BILLION they received from nancy with no payback clause? I will bet that CEO Trump will be interested in those answers.

  • Ramon A. Cardona

    Standards at the factory is a type of sham in the USA. Drivers are totally into “convenience driving” spurred by the universal Driving Induced Anxiety Syndrome (DIAS). Most cars get about 30% less of the rated fuel performance due to speeding, idling, tailgating, etc. Only cars with hybrid or electric technology that stop the abuse reach close to the tested mpg and mpge numbers. 70+ mph seems universal and cars cannot be efficient at those speeds. The average car is rated at 25 mpg but drivers get sub 19 mpg. Since law enforcement gave up trying to slow down drivers with citations there is no practical solution in sight.