Court rules Obama administration can limit greenhouse gas emissions and set fuel efficiency standards

Automakers are torn when it comes to supporting new fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions rules proposed by the Obama administration and the EPA. Several states and industries sued to stop the new standards from going into effect. The legal challenges were brought against the proposed standards by the state of Texas and major industries including those in the chemical, energy, utility, agriculture, and mining realms. The National Association of Manufacturers was also involved in opposing EPA proposed standards.
The U.S. Court of Appeals has now dismissed the suit brought against the EPA marking a significant win for the Obama administration. The Obama administration intends to finalize fuel efficiency standards for 2017 through 2025 along with greenhouse gas limits by this August. These new CAFE standards would require automakers to have fleet wide fuel economy average of 54.5 mpg by 2025.
Many automakers and industry associations oppose the standards because of claims of cost associated with the technology. The National Automobile Dealers Association maintains that the 54.5 mpg proposed fuel standards would add another $5,000 to the sticker price of a new 2025 model vehicle. The proposed standards for 2017 through 2025 model year vehicles were released late last year and were in line with what some major automakers in Washington had already agreed to.

The Chevrolet Volt has no trouble meeting the new fuel economy standards proposed by the Obama Administration. [Source: TECHVEHI]
The reason industrial associations are tying up with automakers in battling the EPA's proposal is that industry leaders are concerned the EPA might further limit carbon emissions without Congressional action. The fear is that the EPA could eventually place greenhouse gas limitations on 6 million stationary sources including 200,000 manufacturing facilities and 37,000 farms along with millions of other sources such as universities, schools, and hospitals.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- a trade group that represents the big three in Detroit along with Toyota, Volkswagen, and several older automakers -- supported the EPA and the Obama Administration’s fuel economy proposal. Alliance spokeswoman Gloria Berquest said, "We supported upholding 2012-16, since we are already building more fuel-efficient autos to meet these standards."
Industrial associations weren't alone in opposing the proposed EPA standards. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee opposed the ruling stating, "[The ruling] delivers a devastating blow to the U.S. economy and American consumers. After enduring 40 consecutive months of higher than 8 percent unemployment, we cannot afford the EPA's continued expansion of red tape that is slowing economic growth and threatening to entangle millions of small businesses. EPA's rules will impose billions of dollars in compliance and delay costs and represent an unprecedented expansion of EPA authority."

Source: Detroit News

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